Tech fault leaves vaccination centres struggling to book second doses
Tuesday, 02 March 2021
Illustration image of vaccination centre Heysel while constructing it. Credit: Belga
A fault in Belgium’s federal vaccination platform Doclr has left centres currently unable to book appointments for a second dose of the vaccine through the platform, and staff concerned over when it will be fixed.
In the meantime, followup appointments are being entered manually, which staff are reporting is taking a huge amount of time to do.
“The system is down again,” a source in the centre of Heysel told La Libre, “but it is necessary to encode the people who come in to be vaccinated. But also to fix the appointment for the injection of the second dose.”
Staff at the Heysel site in particular have told the paper that they feel helpless in the face of the problem, and have no direct way to get it fixed, as the facilitation is handed by the Common Community Commission (COCOM), and they are not answering.
While disconcerting for staff, this issue is more organisational than practical and does not mean the centres cannot continue to vaccinate.
This problem is reportedly impacting the entire country, not just Brussels, as the platform depends on the federal government.
The Latest Of Many
This isn’t the first issue to hit the Heysel vaccination centre in Brussels – currently the largest in Belgium – which was forced to close for a day 24 hours after it opened due to technical issues.
A bug in the IT system, which blocked invitations from being sent out in Brussels and Flanders causing the centre to close for the day, has now been resolved, according to Joris Moonens of the Flemish Agency for Health and Care.
“It concerns a national IT system that sends out text messages as well as emails, and at the same time sends invitations to a printer and Bpost with the notification that the convocation letter can be sent out,” he told De Standaard.
“We had expected that the start-up would not be flawless from the start,” Moonens said, adding that this is the reason why most centres in Flanders are waiting to start until the end of the week.
Under 4% Vaccinated So Far
Belgium’s latest figures show that 3.41% of people aged 18 and over have been fully vaccinated, while 5.54% of the adult population have at least received their first dose.
According to data from Sciensano, 509,948 people received the first dose of vaccine, representing 5.54% of the adult population. In addition, 314,319 second injections have been administered, meaning that 3.41% of people aged 18 and over have been vaccinated.