Legacy Well being working to repair points for COVID vaccine sign-ups in Portland space

Seniors in Oregon’s three most populous counties have had points reserving appointments, however these in different elements of the state mentioned they’ve had a smoother expertise

PORTLAND, Oregon — A Legacy Well being spokesman mentioned the corporate is “conscious of what occurred” Monday when its scheduling web site for COVID-19 vaccinations carried out miserably throughout a morning rush within the Portland space.

Brian Terrett mentioned the location was overloaded with folks attempting to get appointments for the Oregon Conference Heart or the Portland Worldwide Airport vaccination websites, the 2 predominant locations to get COVID photographs in Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties.

Throughout the state, greater than 200,000 seniors aged 70 to 74 grew to become eligible for COVID-19 vaccines on Monday.

“We’ve no means skilled this a lot demand for this technique earlier than,” Terrett mentioned.

Many complaints concerned the capcha part of the appointment web site during which the person is required to show they don’t seem to be a robotic clicking all of the home windows that contain a streetlight or another picture.

Customers informed KGW the location froze after they received there and kicked them out, forcing them to start out over and be part of an ever-growing group of individuals attempting to safe appointments.

“We’ve no means had that earlier than,” Terrett mentioned.

He mentioned IT specialists are nonetheless working to pin down the place the web site failed so it may be mounted Thursday morning, when the location will go reside once more with a recent batch of appointments.

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Regardless of the issues within the Portland space, KGW additionally heard from seniors in different counties who mentioned issues went very effectively.

In Clatsop County, Helen McClaine from Astoria wrote in an e mail that issues went very effectively.

“After listening to the nightmare confronted many Portlanders, I wish to give a shoutout to Clatsop County for his or her sign-up course of,” McClaine mentioned. 

She mentioned she was requested to finish a fast survey figuring out which group she belonged to earlier than signing up, and that the entire course of took not more than 15 minutes. 

KGW heard comparable feedback involving Linn County and Marion County.

Katrina Rothenberger, public well being director for Marion County, mentioned their success was no accident.

“Yeah, we began planning again in spring of 2020,” she mentioned.

Even because the pandemic was simply starting, her workforce started planning.

Rothenberger mentioned members of her workforce had been round 11 years in the past when the H1N1 pandemic required a big vaccination response, they usually knew it could take time to construct the infrastructure wanted for COVID-19. 

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“Our planning efforts actually began a yr in the past, and I believe we’re seeing the good thing about that now,” she mentioned.

The county does have a smaller inhabitants than the Portland space. Rothenberger mentioned the inhabitants of individuals aged 65 and older is 55,972. In response to the U.S. Census, town of Portland alone has 83,000 folks 65 and older.

However the planning is probably going a key to the county’s success.

Because the spring grew to become summer time, the county started assembly with 150 companions who might give photographs when the time got here.

Santiam Hospital grew to become the primary in Oregon to offer photographs to anybody who certified; Salem Well being opened its mass vaccination web site on the state fairgrounds and provides 1000’s of photographs a day; Legacy Well being has a clinic in Woodburn vaccinating folks and Kaiser is giving photographs as effectively. 

There’s a targeted workforce effort with weekly check-ins to speak about what’s going proper and what’s going improper.

“There was in the future I drove round Salem amassing syringes and needles to drop off on the fairgrounds. So , we’re keen to do no matter it takes to make it run easily,” Rothenberger mentioned.

There’s an effort to maintain it easy, to maintain seniors from getting tangled within the complicated web sites that Portland space people have battled.

RELATED: ‘We received the phrase out’: Multnomah County holds COVID-19 vaccine clinic for BIPOC group

KGW’s Pat Dooris requested if seniors from the Portland space might come down and get a shot in the event that they requested properly.

“There shouldn’t be any improper door for somebody who’s eligible for a vaccine. So, if they arrive to the honest, in the event that they make an appointment on the fairgrounds, they shouldn’t be turned away,” she mentioned. 

Regardless of her assurances, KGW has heard from viewers who booked appointments in Marion County solely to be referred to as and informed they may not try this, and that their appointment had been cancelled. 

Have a remark or story thought for Pat Dooris? Electronic mail him at pdooris@kgw.com

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