PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - As thousands more became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine Monday in Oregon, health officials say websites to make vaccine appointments slowed down with the increased traffic.
Many people complained that lagging websites caused them to not be able to get an appointment booked. This is also on top of complaints many have already had about the process of making a vaccine appointment.
“Totally frustrating process,” said William Carton, who tried to create an appointment Monday for his wife who was newly eligible.
Carton said he logged on to the Oregon Health Authority website early in the morning to try and create an appointment. He says the OHA Chat Bot, which is used to start the vaccination appointment process, wouldn’t let users select that they were over 70 until exactly 9 a.m. But he says as soon as 9 o’clock hit, the Chat Bot was already lagging.
He says the process of navigating the Chat Bot is already too complicated, and not user friendly. And he says that computers are not an issue for him.
“I’ve been a web user since it was invented. A computer user long ago. Write code, design electronic hardware, so I’m pretty user savvy,” Carton said.
He says after getting through the Chat Bot he spent close to two hours trying to make an appointment for his wife. But, he says he experienced a lot of glitches and multiple times the website told him it had “timed out.”
“It actually displayed a lot of appointment choices for me twice and I picked an appointment choice. And that’s a tease because you can’t actually finish the process before Legacy says, oh you’re too slow and it gives up. Actually, it’s too slow. I answered instantly to all the questions,” said Carton.
He says it’s also frustrating that people are not told how many appointments are available and how many people they are competing against to get them.
He says he would like to see more transparency in this regard. He says the process is too difficult for a group of people who are already very worried about getting the virus.
“It’s just one more stress that people don’t need. Better communication could reduce some of that stress,” he said.
Monday afternoon, OHSU told Fox 12 that websites to create vaccine appointments at both the Oregon Convention Center and the OHSU vaccine site were slowed down because of user traffic.
OHSU said that 4,900 appointments became available at the convention center at 9 a.m. Monday. It says those appointments were booked in less than an hour.
OHSU says that there are fixes in place or being worked on now to stop delays on the vaccine websites.