Vaccination registration frustration - many unable to schedule follow-up appointment due to glitch.

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Allegheny County Health Department is resuming sending more second COVID-19 vaccine dose appointment emails after stopping them late on Thursday.

The county said in an update Friday that after overnight testing and resolution of several issues, the Health Department has started sending corrected emails that have the first dose appointment code required for people to schedule their second appointments.

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The county says some people with smartphones are unable to confirm their registration, so when possible, people should schedule second dose appointments on other devices. And, if you get the “no appointments are available message,” they say to look for appointments using the next week’s day as the start date since the system only gives the next five days from the start date. The county also says the code has been reset to expire in 72 hours.

Many were left frustrated and fearful after the county’s website was unable to schedule second-dose appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations. According to the health department, there was a glitch in the system.

The following timeline is how everything unfolded:

On Thursday, the Allegheny County Health Department sent out email invitations for second-dose appointments to those who have received their first dose on or before March 26. The system then needs a first-dose appointment code as part of the verification process, which was manually generated.

The problem occurred when those emails were sent out, the required code was excluded, therefore those trying to make second-dose appointments were unable to make their appointment.

Statement From Allegheny County Health Department

“Earlier today, we began sending email invitations for new second-dose appointments to those who had received their first dose on or before March 26. The system requires a first dose appointment code as part of the verification process and these were manually generated for those who were vaccinated when the PrepMod system was being used.

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Shortly after the emails began going out, we were advised that a sentence that should have contained that code was omitted from the template and so those seeking second dose appointments were not able to schedule. When the issue was corrected, and new emails went out, others experienced a message that the clinics were full, or new appointments were unavailable. As a result, no further emails were sent.”

However, many began receiving a message that clinics were full or new appointments were unavailable following the health department’s statement.

They then went on to say, “the clinics are not booked, there is some issue preventing people from registering, we are troubleshooting now and thank everyone for their patience.”

They say many people were still able to schedule second-dose appointments and first-dose appointments and pre-registration were not impacted.

Testing was conducted overnight to resolve any issues and the department says they plan to send out second-dose emails again today.

Vaccine registration, as well as pre-registration, can be found by following this link.

People in Phase 1A are currently eligible for the vaccination, and Pennsylvania will move to Phase 1B on April 5.

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Phase 1C will begin on April 12 and then on April 19, everyone will be eligible for the vaccine.