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Thousands Seek Covid Vaccines At Spokane Arena Megasite

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

It took only about two hours for 3,000 people to sign up for Covid vaccines that will be administered at the Spokane Arena.

On Wednesday, people logged onto the CHAS Health website and jammed its phone lines for their chance to claim one of site’s first 3,000 doses from the state.CHAS, which is doing the inoculations, says it received more than 60,000 online attempts in the first few hours after the online appointment site opened. That crashed the site. Kelley Charvet from CHAS says the phones were busy too, even though people were encouraged to make appointments online. Charvet says CHAS has fortified both the online and phone systems to handle more traffic. And she says the state Department of Health will soon offer help with people wanting to make appointments via phone.

“They’re saying that hopefully by the end of day Friday they will have appropriate staffing in place to be able to help patients register. So, once next week’s allotment goes live, they should be able to assist patients that way with registration," she said.

CHAS expects to administer around 500 doses a day at the Arena. Charvet says the vaccinations are open to Washington residents from any county who meet the current vaccination guidelines, though the state isn’t requiring the provider to check for proof of Washington residency.

“If an individual qualifies and registers, but doesn’t have Washington state ID, they’re not going to be turned away. I know there’s a lot of questions about Idaho residents. We definitely want to discourage Idaho residents from crossing the border to receive the vaccine here," she said.

To be eligible for the vaccine in Washington you must be in one of these groups: a healthcare worker, first-line responder, long-term care facility resident, 65 or older, or 50 or older and living in a multi-generational household.