We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties – Please Stand By

One question we see frequently – if you have a confirmation email, with a link taking you to a sign-up page, when all the appointments are full, should you expect an email telling you when they become available? The short answer, no.

Oklahoma Vaccine Portal problems persist as Oklahomans scramble to get a shot appointment — https://kfor.com/news/local/oklahoma-vaccine-portal-problems-persist-as-oklahomans-scramble-to-get-a-shot-appointment/

Officials with the Oklahoma State Department of Health said about 290,000 eligible Oklahomans are signed up on the scheduler portal. Plenty of people in the phase two distribution plan told 2 Works for You they are having issues scheduling a vaccination.

Senior citizens struggle with state COVID vaccine portal — https://www.kjrh.com/news/local-news/senior-citizens-struggle-with-oklahoma-state-covid-vaccine-portal

Tulsa Health Department posted on Facebook saying, that due to technical difficulties, there is no way for eligible individuals in Tulsa County to sign up.

‘Technical difficulties’ halts OSDH’s vaccine scheduling portal in Tulsa — https://ktul.com/news/local/technical-difficulties-halts-osdhs-vaccine-scheduling-portal-in-tulsa

Friday 1/29

Today began like any other workday. Wake up, coffee, shower, get dressed, more coffee, make the bed, power up the computer. But this morning I did not turn my workstation on. I took the morning off to get my SARS-Cov-2 vaccination shot. Total estimated round trip drive time will be about 3 hours. We’re headed to a mall in Enid, OK (that’s nearly Kansas IMO). This is my vaccine story.

Like the rest of the world we’ve been pretty much cooped up for nearly a year. Getting out of the house for “essential” activities isn’t the same as getting out and doing things. The arrival of vaccines for this horrible virus was good news. This certainly doesn’t herald the end of The Great Pandemic but it’s a hell of a good start. Somehow I knew with governments at multiple points in the vaccination process you just know there will be problems. Keep this in mind and carry on.

The state of Oklahoma is presently in Phase 2 of a four phase rollout. When The Boss and I became eligible for a jab we started hearing nightmare stories about actually securing an appointment. I knew the hiccups at the beginning were due to vaccine supply. The supply side is still a problem but not nearly as big of a problem as the steps you must take to register and find some vaccine. OSDH (Oklahoma State Department of Health) is the agency that set up the state’s vaccine portal. A lifetime ago I managed technology for two different companies and I know what can go wrong with systems implementation. Here we had a website set up by a government agency rolled out to the public with zero instructions on how the process would work. What could go wrong?

Yup, “technical difficulties”.

After hearing horror stories of a crashed website and other “technical difficulties” I waited a few weeks before signing up on the site. When I signed up I immediately received an email telling me I was eligible to be vaccinated. The email contained a link to the appointment scheduler. And that’s when the fun began. No appointments. Nada. Zilch. The instructions on how to use the site were nowhere to be found. After some time clicking around I managed to figure out how the site worked. First come, first served. If you can’t get an appointment come back later and try again.

So I went back to work and left my personal computer up with the vaccine portal website up. Every now and then I turned around from my Day Job Workstation and checked to see if any appointment openings popped up. After several hours of intermittent checking a massive number of slots opened up at a single site, the Oakwood Mall in Enid Oklahoma. So I used the home office intercom and yelled rather loudly:

“Get on the site. It’s number 47. Take the 10:30 am slot and I’ll grab the 10:45. GO!!!”

We both got slots for shots on January 29th. I suspect our experience was a lot better and a lot more successful than for others around the country. In my next post I’ll describe a few of the reasons why Oklahoma is doing a decent job with their vaccine rollout. Decent not good. Keep this in mind too because we haven’t opened up the process to the general population yet.

PS. My worst side effect so far has been an illogical urge to buy a 12 string acoustic guitar. Strange but true.

2 thoughts on “We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties – Please Stand By

  1. It is so interesting to read different people’s reports of the process. They range anywhere from smooth and expeditious to a total nightmare. A friend of mine who lives in California could only get one about a 4 Hour drive away. But the worst part was she could not get her appointment the same day as her husbands. So they had to make two separate trips. Her appointment ended up being in the middle of a terrible storm. But at least they’re both vaccinated and at least both you and the boss are too. Have you given into that urge to purchase a guitar? Do you even play the guitar?

    • I do play but overall not well. I’ve been stuck in the 12 bar blues mode since age 12. Day Two and the urge remains, haven’t given in (yet). But since the urge was present prior to the vaccine shot it may be a true side effect.

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