Jan and John O’Neill were proud to show off their “I got my COVID-19 vaccine” stickers after getting their first shots of the Moderna vaccine.
“It gives us the opportunity to live a more normal life,” said John O’Neill.
Though they’re partially vaccinated now, their first appointment had to be rescheduled after the January windstorm shut down the Petco Park vaccination superstation.
The challenges for the O’Neils didn’t stop there. Getting their second dose has been an even tougher task for the couple in their 70s, who say they’re following the pandemic playbook in their San Marcos home.
“I have disabilities and my age. And, I’m anxious and fearful to go out,” said Jan O’Neill
Their second dose appointment was rescheduled once for March 4, and then they got a text just one day before telling them to check UCSD’s My Chart for yet another scheduling change.
“The fire burns inside of you,” laughed Jan O’Neill about getting the notice.
And they’re not alone. Outside the Petco Park site Wednesday, Nancy Jones voiced her frustration after getting her second shot.
“I’ve been canceled twice. The second time was more disturbing because I’m thinking, ‘Am I ever going to get in?” said Jones.
When asked about the frustrations, Christopher Longhurst, MD said health officials are frustrated as well.
Longhurst is the chief information officer and associate medical officer for UC San Diego Health which helps operate the Petco Park superstation.
“We’re unfortunately having to reschedule people who are confirmed in a few days because we need to prioritize those people who are furthest out from their first dose,” explained Longhurst.
Longhurst added that vaccine supply issues have impacted the downtown site, which only gives the Moderna vaccine, differently.
“Unfortunately, that [Mmoderna] supply chain seemed to be more impacted by the weather and perhaps manufacturing than the Pfizer supply chain is, and so that’s why we’re short locally,” he said.
After getting their second rescheduling notice, the O’Neill’s are hopeful the third time is the charm for their appointment Saturday.
“They really need to make sure that they have enough of the second dose before they go promising it to others, you know?” said Jan O’Neil.
To remedy that concern, Dr. Longhurst says teachers and first responders who just became eligible are often times being given the Pfizer vaccine which hasn’t had as many delivery delays.
NBC 7 reached out to Moderna after hours to find out about the delivery issues and has yet to get a response.