The District’s online system for scheduling COVID-19 vaccination crashed early on Thursday as residents with certain medical conditions became eligible for receiving shots.
Many individuals reported technical issues while attempting to register for coronavirus vaccine appointments in the morning.
Nearly 4,350 vaccination appointments were slated to be made available starting at 9 am for District residents who live in priority zip codes, and are 65 years old or older; or have a qualifying medical condition (anyone 18 and older); or are a member of an eligible workforce.
In addition to heavy traffic, residents who have qualifying medical conditions said they were not able to register through the website, as the system was not updated to include the newly eligible group.
When you have asthma but DC forgot to update its vaccine portal to allow those with qualifying health conditions to sign up pic.twitter.com/7WLNBfeYmA
— Pro-Vaccine Queen🌙🦇 (@typicalfeminist) February 25, 2021
“Due to the high volume of traffic on http://vaccinate.dc.gov, you may experience delays. We are working to resolve as quickly as possible,” DC Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted.
According to DC Health, all the online appointments that opened today were immediately booked and it was the cause of the problem.
“We know this morning was very frustrating for many people. We are working with Microsoft to understand why heavy traffic caused some eligible individuals to not get through,” the Department said in a tweet.
DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson apologized in a statement for the issues on the vaccination portal, also attributing the issue to the high volume of traffic. Mendelson said IT engineers were working “to resolve the issues as soon as possible.”
It’s been 45 mins and DC STILL hasn’t fixed the vaccine portal. pic.twitter.com/9Tj4SGD4sG
— SonjaSays (@SaysSonja) February 25, 2021
Somewhat ironic this is happening at the same time that thousands of DC residents who became newly eligible for the vaccine couldn't get an appointment this a.m. because @dcmayorsoffice / @_DCHealth didn't update the portal on the backend to reflect the new tier. https://t.co/MEQcQb8R4i
— Karolle Rabarison 👩🏾💻 (@karolle) February 25, 2021