Dozens turned away from N.J. COVID vaccination site after scheduling website glitch – NJ.com

A hospital website glitch over the weekend resulted in dozens of people being turned away from a coronavirus vaccination site in Bergen County on Monday, officials said.

A “disruption in the link” of Holy Name Medical Center’s COVID-19 vaccine registration site allowed people to get most of the way through registration on Sunday – even though appointments had already been booked, according to Teaneck Township Manager Dean Kazinci.

“There were people that reached a point in the registration process that was close to complete,” Kazinci said Tuesday. “They thought they were done, but they didn’t have confirmation.”

Kazinci said the township received 570 doses of the Pfizer vaccine from the state and opened up an equal number of vaccination appointments at the Richard Rodda Community Center on Colonial Court.

“There were 570 doses available on Sunday and we had 570 appointments online,” Kazinci said.

But the website – run by Holy Name Hospital – continued to allow people to nearly complete registration, even after the community center was booked solid and no more appointments were available for Monday, Kazinci said.

Those who thought they had signed up online took screenshots of their registration process and came to the community center on Monday hoping to get vaccinated.

That resulted in about 25 to 50 people being turned away, Kazinci said. “They didn’t have confirmation of their appointment,” Kazinci said. “We didn’t have the doses to give them.”

“This was the first time we were open and doing this (giving the vaccine),” Kazinci said.

“It’s no different than when any other website has a problem or breaks down. It’s no different than the Department of Labor having a problem, no different than the motor vehicle department having a problem,” he said. “We’re just asking people to please be a little patient with us.”

Kazinci said Holy Name computer technicians fixed the website issue late Sunday and they hope to be up and running again later this week. The community center was closed on Tuesday as officials wait for more vaccine doses.

Holy Name expects to receive two trays of vaccine equaling 2,000 doses on Tuesday. Kazinci said they are planning to schedule more appointments for Wednesday through Friday at the community center. The COVID-19 vaccine will be given from about 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to the township manager.

If the doses arrive as planned, Kazinci said he will alert the public through the hospital website and Nixle that they can begin registering for the vaccine.

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