By Heather Janssen

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Weeks ago, the vaccine was a sign of hope. But that feeling has fizzled for many, and many people are battling to book vaccination appointments across the region.

“You can’t click it – I’ve been checking every day,” said Michael Weaver, who keeps hitting dead ends every time he attempts to book a vaccine appointment for his 66-year-old wife. She’s currently battling stage 4 cancer and the coronavirus would only make things worse.

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“She definitely needs it,” Weaver said. “She gets it [the virus], she’s going to die. Her immunity is way down.”

The Weaver family isn’t alone. Most counties operate their vaccine clinics on a first come first serve basis. In Placer County, the health department has the staff to vaccinate more, but not the doses to match.

The hunt, like scouting for concert tickets of a high-profile artist, as people spend hours on the phone or the internet trying to get in for an inoculation.

It’s the same process in Sacramento, but Katherine Stefani took a lucky phone call from her doctor last week, a whole seven days before her 100th birthday.

“I got to thank God cause he’s really been good to me,” said Stefani.

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She received her first dose over the weekend, a birthday wish come true.

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“I was glad I got the shot because I was a little concerned,” she said. “I didn’t want to get sick or anything.”

But many others, like Weaver, still dream of the day they can join those already vaccinated. He hopes his wife’s time comes soon.

“She’s important to us,” Weaver said. “We need her, we just love her anyway. We want her to stay alive.”

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In an email to patients, Sutter Health announced they would be expanding appointments to 65 and older patients later this week. As for the counties and when may be the best time to check for open appointments, Placer County Public Health suggests checking toward the end of the week. That’s when county health departments know how many doses they may be able to allocate for the following week.

Heather Janssen