Coronavirus vaccine confirmation not always enough for reservation

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Estonia's first COVID-19 vaccine was given to resident-doctor Jelena Rozinko in Kohtla-Järve in Ida-Viru County on December 27. Source: Sergei Stepanov/ERR

Elderly people who managed to book a weekend vaccination on the first day of testing of Estonia's digital vaccination registration system might not really have a reservation. People whose booking does not show up in the Digilugu digital registration system could miss out on the vaccine shot despite a booking confirmation from the system.

The digital registration pilot project was opened on Thursday and allows people in the 65-69 age group to register for vaccination this weekend. The system that offers a total of 6,000 appointments was quickly overloaded with requests that caused it to manifest several errors and go offline at times.

Those who managed to book a vaccination were sent a confirmation message from the Health and Welfare Information Systems Center (TEHIK). However, it turned out that confirmation was not always enough to ensure a booking.

IT trainer Henn Sarv said that he, his brother and wife all registered for vaccination in Rapla. Three people, three confirmations. However, it turned out that evening that while Sarv could see his booking on the Digilugu website, his brother and wife could not. Sarv learned, upon calling TEHIK customer support, that the confirmation is meaningless and people should go and check whether their appointment exists. "I have dealt with more than a few information systems in my day, while I have never had to double check whether a booking confirmation means you have one," Sarv said.

TEHIK took to social media on Thursday evening and wrote that a system confirmation might not designate an actual booking.

"While the digital registration pilot project has been a success, it has put a lot of pressure on us. We are glad that thousands of people have booked appointments, while we ask people to understand that new solutions can always manifest bottlenecks. For example, a situation has developed where some bookings do not show up in the nationwide digital registration system. We are aware of the issue and are working on finding a solution," TEHIK wrote in its post.

A missing entry in the Digilugu system means that people who booked a time at the North Estonia Medical Center (PERH), Hiiumaa Hospital, Järva County Hospital, Viljandi Hospital or Rapla Hospital do not have an appointment for vaccination.

TEHIK said that the problem should not occur in connection with other medical institutions, while the center urges people to double check their booking, also by calling the hospital or clinic where the vaccination is set to take place.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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