Manitoba

Seniors stuck standing in line as computer glitch causes delays at Winnipeg COVID-19 vaccine site

A computer glitch is being blamed for long waits at Winnipeg's COVID-19 vaccination supersite where some who got the shot on Friday waited over two hours.

'It's just too long for people to stand,' says health-care worker waiting in line at convention centre

A scheduling program malfunction meant dozens of people had longer than normal waits at the Winnipeg vaccination supersite. (Gary Solilak/CBC)

A computer glitch is blamed for long waits at Winnipeg's COVID-19 vaccination supersite, where some who got the shot on Friday waited over two hours.

The waits are due to a large number of appointments and issues related to scheduling software, which led to a shortage of staff, acting deputy chief public health officer Dr. Jazz Atwal said at a news conference.

Health-care worker Joanne Sander said she brought water, but wished she had a chair to sit on while she waited in line at the RBC Convention Centre site. She eventually got her shot about an hour later than scheduled.

"It is unbelievable. I feel really bad for the seniors standing in line," Sander said.

"I'm appreciative, but it's just too long for people to stand. I'm surprised they're not dropping."

Most of the people stuck in line during the delays at the supersite were seniors. (Gary Solilak/CBC)

Erin Murray brought her 83-year-old mother, Elizabeth, to get the vaccine. They had problems from the start.

She says the parking lot was full and nobody knew where they should go to find a spot.

"You've got it all backlogged, and to have someone in their 80s waiting in the cold, it's not really ideal," Murray said.

"I'd prefer no line," Elizabeth added.

"Obviously, life happens," said Erin Murray. "We're just happy to get the vaccine, but I hope they get this sorted out sooner rather than later."

Atwal apologized to people affected by the delays and said more staff were expected to arrive later Friday afternoon.

"As soon as the issue was identified, the team began reaching out to bring additional staff on site to make the process go more smoothly and to reduce waits," he said.

Public health is working to ensure the problem doesn't happen again, Atwal said.

WATCH | Long waits at Winnipeg Convention Centre vaccination site:

Seniors stuck waiting in the cold at Winnipeg COVID-19 vaccine site

CBC News Manitoba

3 months ago
2:08
A computer glitch is being blamed for creating a staffing shortage leading to long lineups at Winnipeg's vaccine supersite. The delays come just as dozens of cases of one of the more contagious coronavirus variants have been found. CBC's Austin Grabish reports. 2:08

With files from Austin Grabish and Rachel Bergen

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