Scheduling issues at Spokane Arena send man elsewhere in search of vaccine for disabled wife

SPOKANE, Wash. — Things are about to change at the Spokane Arena’s mass vaccination site. Right now, it’s run by CHAS Health. Starting March 1, the State Department of Health will take over. 

With demand outweighing supply, getting an appointment has been hard to come by. That’s true whether you’re trying to get one at the Spokane Arena, or from your provider. 

One Spokane man had trouble getting a shot for his disabled wife, who’s confined to a bed and can’t walk. 

Michael Stone tried to get an appointment through CHAS twice. Each time, he was hit with an error message. With the frustration growing, he started looking everywhere for a shot. 

“It’s just like trying to buy tickets for a hot concert on Ticketmaster,” said Stone. “You just have to have the fingers.” 

It’s a frustrating experience for Stone and his wife, Donna Kay. 

“She’s confined to a bed,” said Stone. “She can’t walk, so there really is no way for her to get a vaccination except for me to take her out of the house, down the hill to a vaccine clinic.” 

Stone started his vaccine search with CHAS about a month ago. 

“When I clicked it at exactly 5 p.m., they told me I was number 5,093. That did not go well,” said Stone. 

He got an error message the second time around. 

“A week later, my finger poised over the button and everything at 5 p.m., and then I was number 16, but again, the same thing with the pink box. Something went wrong with no other explanation,” said Stone. 

At his wits end, Stone started doing more research and ended up finding two appointments at the MLK Center. 

“I parked on the sidewalk and they said, ‘well why are you on the sidewalk?’ and I said ‘well my wife can’t walk and you’re going to have to vaccinate her in the car,’ which was not something they were ready for, but they eventually did it,” said Stone. 

They both got the vaccine on Tuesday. 

The Department of Health says the Spokane Arena will most likely only give out second doses next week.

READ: WA Dept. of Health to take over operations at Spokane Arena mass vaccination site 

READ: Bad weather across the U.S. could delay Spokane Arena site’s latest vaccine shipment 

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