Thousands of seniors book COVID-19 vaccine, but website, phone number quickly overwhelmed

0
235

Almost immediately Alberta Health Services put out a warning on Twitter about the high volume of interest

A pedestrian wearing a mask to protect against COVID-19 walks past as a patron dinning at the Continental Treat Fine Bistro, 10560 82 Ave., in Edmonton Monday Feb. 22, 2021. Photo by David BloomA pedestrian wearing a mask to protect against COVID-19 walks past as a patron dinning at the Continental Treat Fine Bistro, 10560 82 Ave., in Edmonton Monday Feb. 22, 2021. Photo by David Bloom /Postmedia

Article content

More than 8,500 Albertans booked a COVID-19 vaccine in the first two hours the phone line and web portal opened across the province as others reported busy phone lines and repeated website crashes.

Wednesday at 8 a.m. marked the first day seniors born in 1946 or earlier could book a vaccine either through 811 or the designated Alberta Health Services website. The government estimates 460,000 doses of the vaccine will be need for everyone covered in this phase.

Almost immediately Alberta Health Services put out a warning on Twitter about the high volume of interest.

“As anticipated, we are experiencing very high volumes with the AHS COVID-19 immunization booking tool. The tool remains live. If you are having trouble accessing the site, please try again shortly. Thank you for your patience,” the tweet said.

Online, some Albertans celebrated getting an appointment while many others described the phone line disconnecting and the website crashing almost immediately after it opened.

In a follow-up tweet just after 10 a.m., AHS said the tool remained live and more than 8,500 Albertans 75 years of age and over have successfully booked an appointment.

The health authority asked Albertans not to call hospitals or clinics directly as they are not able to book appointments.