The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) says that as of 1 p.m, more than 12,000 vaccination appointments had been booked for youth aged five to 11.
Those vaccinations are scheduled to begin tomorrow across the province, including in more than 110 schools as well as through specialized clinics for children with additional needs.
The province’s pediatric vaccination debut wasn’t without its hiccups, though, as the booking website went down for around half an hour shortly after launching due to “high traffic”.
“We did experience some difficulties with our online booking system this morning,” said SHA’s Emergency Operation Centre Vaccine Chief Sheila Anderson Tuesday morning.
“There was about a 30-minute down time related to high traffic on the site. The system was down and when it was down the public would have experienced an error message, but it’s been resolved and the system is operating now as expected.”
Anderson said that while the SHA will be monitoring the system closely, they “doesn’t expect” there to be any further booking issues on the site.
She said there are currently more than 40,000 available appointments.
Anderson said a problem experienced with the province’s telephone booking system has also been resolved.
“Our SaskVax line this morning, it experienced a small problem where instead of playing music when people were on hold it just went to dead air. So that issue’s been resolved as well,” Anderson said.
“I certainly want to apologize on behalf of the SHA for the inconvenience. We certainly go through a rigorous testing process, in fact our team was up very early this morning testing the system again but there was a problem related to high traffic this morning.”
Don Sparrow, a Saskatoon resident and parent, detailed his experience
“I had two different browsers open as well as my cellphone trying to get on. Initially it was working and then as each stage sort of progressed it would time out. The site would crash,” said Sparrow, who added he was able to book his three kids for appointments starting about 45 minutes later.
“I’m sort of Jekyll and Hyde about the whole process, and now that we’re booked I’m like, well, it’s great that we even had this opportunity. Everything I experienced today I experienced last spring when I booked my own personal vaccine.”