But Health Ministry welcomes high volume of interest and vows problems will be ironed out
By Orville Williams
The Health Ministry is urging patience from persons facing issues with their Covid-19 vaccine registration, while expressing delight with the significant number of residents attempting to get registered.
Following the rollout of the national inoculation programme, beginning with frontline healthcare workers, parliamentarians and other ‘first priority’ personnel, the ministry launched its vaccine registration system for the general public on Wednesday. An official website forms part of that, along with four contact numbers.
However, the website was completely inaccessible to some prospective registrants on the day of the launch and, just a day later – though some were able to access the homepage – there were still technical issues with completing the registration form.
The ministry used its social media platforms yesterday to announce that the established hotline was being inundated with calls, likely from persons looking to secure their registration. In a post on its Facebook page, those experiencing issues with the website were advised to contact the numbers provided.
Speaking to Observer yesterday, Dr Janelle Charles-Williams – Chair of the Public Education Sub-Committee of the National Coordinating Committee for the Covid-19 Vaccine – confirmed that due to the large number of people attempting to register for vaccination, persons were facing difficulties logging on and/or with completing the process.
“We are pleased that people are embracing the process and that they are seeking to register. We are also pleased to report that the secretariat has received – in one day – 320 calls, [meaning] they assisted 320 people.”
She encouraged anyone facing issues to continue to attempt registering, or call the Covid-19 Vaccination Registration Secretariat at the numbers provided.
Dr Charles-Williams also talked up the impact of the vaccination education sessions being done via Zoom, disclosing that well over 1,000 persons have participated so far, armed with queries ranging from the impact of the vaccines on people with pre-existing conditions, to the severity of the side effects.
She added on those sessions, “we know that taking the Covid-19 vaccine is not mandatory, but we believe that by providing persons with information, they can make an informed decision”.
Residents can sign up to be vaccinated at www.vaccineantiguabarbuda.com or by calling the hotline at 788-8299, 736-8295, 736-8298 or 736-8299. The hotline numbers will be active from 9am to 4pm from Monday to Friday.