Saskatchewan·Updated

More than 12,000 kids' vaccine appointments booked in Sask. after initial website hiccup

Saskatchewan parents are eager to get their 5 to 11-year-old kids vaccinated. More than 12,000 pediatric vaccine appointments were booked between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. CST on Tuesday, according to the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

Booking system and phone line now operating normally, SHA says

Vaccinations for Saskatchewan children aged five to 11 are set to begin Wednesday. More than 12,000 pediatric doses have already been booked, according to the Saskatchewan Health Authority. (Carolyn Kaster/The Associated Press)

Saskatchewan parents are eager to get their 5- to 11-year-old kids vaccinated.

More than 12,000 pediatric vaccine appointments were booked between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. CST on Tuesday, according to a news release from the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA).

"We're really pleased about that," said Sheila Anderson, the vaccine chief responsible for the SHA COVID-19 immunization campaign, at the province's COVID briefing Tuesday morning. 

The bookings came after people spent about 45 minutes in a frantic scramble to book their kids' vaccine appointments. 

As of 8 a.m. CST, parents were supposed to be able to go online and schedule an appointment for their children aged five to 11, but it didn't take long before there was a problem with the SHA booking system. 

Many people reported the website was slow — and sometimes crashed altogether.

Around 8:30 a.m., the SHA confirmed it was having website issues and that the booking system was unavailable as of 8:10 a.m.

People trying to book by phone were also getting messages saying the booking system would not be available for another half hour.

The problem has since been resolved. In a tweet, the SHA said that as of 11 a.m. CST, the online patient booking system and the SaskVax phone line are operating normally.

"We have over 40,000 appointments available and so would encourage people to continue to book into that system," Anderson said, adding that she doesn't anticipate the website glitches to happen again. 

Anderson said parents can make group vaccine bookings through the SaskVax phone line.

The province said it will begin giving out shots to kids aged five to 11 on Wednesday. By week's end, the province should have more than 112,000 vaccine doses, nearly enough for all children in that age group to get their first dose. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Yasmine Ghania is a reporter for CBC Saskatchewan, currently based in Saskatoon.

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