AUSTIN (KXAN) — The launch of Austin Public Health’s new pre-registration system for the COVID-19 vaccine experienced technical difficulties on its first full day of use.
It experienced technical difficulties due to high demand, according to a note on its website Wednesday morning, and worked with the website vendor to fix the issue.
“Due to high demand, you may experience technical issues and your submission may not go through. If you receive an error message, please try re-submitting after some time,” APH wrote on its site. A spokesperson explained Thursday that most of the technical issues stemmed from “high simultaneous demand, which is naturally resolved as people pre-register on a more rolling basis rather than all trying to access the same page at the same time. Individuals may have reached a page that showed that no appointments were available; this means that they have successfully pre-registered but that no more appointments were available.”
People should be able to pre-register for a COVID-19 vaccine through Austin Public Health, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be able to get one right away. APH received 12,000 doses from the state this week — just a fraction of those eligible to receive the vaccines in the area.
If people are in the Phase 1A or 1B list — which includes healthcare workers, people over 65, and those with chronic medical conditions — they can pre-register right away. Viewers who acted quickly Wednesday morning told KXAN that Austin Public Health has already responded and some are getting vaccinated as early as Thursday.
A portal on the City of Austin’s website allows people to fill out a questionnaire to determine eligibility. If deemed eligible, APH will contact the person to set up an appointment for a vaccine shot. APH stresses that simply filling out the form doesn’t guarantee the person an appointment.
APH also encourages those who have private insurance to call their primary care provider or pharmacy first, as it wants this system to be able to serve those without insurance.
To get started, people can go to the vaccine registration’s front page on the city’s website.
From there people can select what language you want to view the page in, and there’s a link that will take them to the page to create an account. Once you make an account, you’ll be able to schedule a COVID-19 test, view test results or register for the vaccine. Select “register for vaccine” on this screen.
They will then see this fact sheet about the registration process and how the vaccine doses will be rolled out. APH points out that people won’t be asked about their immigration status, and that the vaccine doesn’t cost anything. Click “next” to move forward.
More information about COVID-19 symptoms, plus a consent waiver, are on the next page. People should review the information, and if they agree, check the box and then click “next.”
Now it’s time to fill out personal information like birthday, home address, emergency contacts and other screening questions to determine eligibility. The page says it should take about 10 minutes to complete and should have your name filled in at the top. Answer the questions.
Once that’s done, people will get to this screen confirming their information has been logged and if they’re eligible for a vaccine, they’ll be contacted. They should also get an email confirming what they just completed.
Completing this process doesn’t mean people have an appointment, APH says. All it means is that they’re on a list to review for current eligibility standards, and if they fall into Phase 1A or 1B, APH will contact them with another email to actually sign up for an appointment.
APH received 12,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this week, but frustration has been growing among those who qualify for Phase 1B, KXAN’s Kevin Clark reported Tuesday. Austin Mayor Steve Adler hopes the entire allotment of vaccine doses will be given this week so the city can ask for more.
“If we can demonstrate to the state that we can get out 12,000 vaccines in a 7-day period, our hope is that they’ll give us more,” he said.