APH promises it’s working on technical issues, will reopen vaccine scheduling website Thursday


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Public Health shut down its COVID-19 vaccine scheduling system late Monday night because of technical problems.

APH opened appointments at 6 p.m. Monday. At that point, 9,000 people were in the waiting room trying to book 6,000 available appointments. One hour later, the agency tweeted it was “experiencing some technical issues.”

At 10:55 p.m., APH paused the scheduling system due to the technical problems and shut down the system entirely at 11:40 p.m.

APH did not immediately specify what the problems were, however, later on Tuesday, APH tweeted again, saying after working with its website vendor throughout the day, it learned the issues were caused by a new program code.

APH promised to continue to test the system and provide another opportunity on Thursday evening for those registered through the site to sign up for first-dose appointments.

APH said in a statement Tuesday after the issues Monday night, it began working proactively to schedule people who made it past the waiting room on the site.

Brenda Reese reached out to KXAN after she received a vaccine appointment notification Tuesday morning. However, she had already been vaccinated elsewhere and wasn’t on the site trying to schedule an appointment this week.

“I read it, and and I just laughed. It was so typical of APH,” Reese said, explaining she’s in Phase 1B and had spent weeks trying to set up a vaccine appointment on the APH site before she finally gave up and got one through Baylor Scott & White.

KXAN obtained a contract between the City of Austin and its website vendor, Sense Corp. The city is paying the company $178,000 for its Salesforce Vaccine Management Tool, which Austinites have come to know as the glitchy program that can make it hard to secure an appointment.

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