As the government begins its rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, people are having issues with the brand new website meant to co-ordinate bookings with GPs, clinics and immunisation centres around the country.
Last week, it was announced that HealthEngine would be responsible for the vaccine booking system, despite having been recently fined for handing out patients data without adequate warning to its users.
According to the company, the government’s website would create a one stop shop for anyone wanting to find out who was offering vaccines nearby and book an appointment to get one.
Today, the government’s website was launched ahead of Phase 1B of the vaccine rollout which makes six million Australians, including Australians over 70, eligible to get their shots.
How’s the government’s vaccine booking website rollout going?
Unfortunately, it hasn’t gone swimmingly so far.
While some people have been able to book their shots, others have suffered technical issues with the system when trying to book an appointment as first reported by the Guardian Australia.
Government MPs have also been receiving complaints from constituents who have been unable to book using the website.
And despite a promise to allow people to book through the website, Gizmodo found that many of the clinics listings direct users to call the clinics rather than making an appointment online.
Others have complained on social media that clinics listed aren’t taking bookings yet.
One man who is in Phase 1B was turned away by a clinic who said “we have not been given any information from the government so we can’t book you in as yet”, SBS’ Greg Dyett reported.
Other features of the vaccine booking website seem to be working. Users can find out what phase they’re in and book a reminder for when they become eligible to get the shot.
The issues of the vaccine booking website clearly aren’t just technical issues. They’re symptoms of a system that are struggling to deal with the scale necessary for a national vaccine rollout.