A technical glitch led to plenty of confusion for parents in Red Deer and central Alberta looking to book their kids in for a COVID-19 vaccination.
Alberta Health Services opened up its booking system for appointments for children between the ages of 5-11 on Wednesday and the 800 appointments available at Westerner Park between Nov. 26-29 were filled quickly.
With immunizations set to move to 1780 49 Ave. location on Nov. 30, patients were unable to book appointments at the new location.
”Due to a technological error on Nov. 24, patients were unable to book appointments at the new location. The issue has since been resolved,” said AHS Central zone spokesperson Melissa Ballantyne in an email.
“We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion this may have caused. We realize this may have caused some clients to book appointments outside of Red Deer. There is an option to cancel those appointments and rebook into Red Deer, by phoning Health Link at 811.”
Janelle Melenchuk of Red Deer was one of those parents who got caught up in the confusion. She went to book an appointment for her children on her lunch hour Wednesday and was unsuccessful. She was getting mixed messages from the booking page, about whether her kids were or weren’t registered. She said other friends were experiencing difficulties as well.
“I was just like what is going on, in Red Deer, you wouldn’t have thought they would all be booked up and you have to wait until whenever,” she said.
Melenchuk added it was a no-brainer on the decision to get her kids vaccinated, in the hopes for some sense of a return to normal.
“I’m a believer in science. I don’t know why people aren’t. I think maybe there’s too much misinformation,” she said.
“I don’t believe a vaccine is out for authorized use if it’s not safe. It’s a no-brainer to me.”
Ballantyne added there are more than 6,500 appointments available in Red Deer for booking between Dec. 1 and 19. There have been just over 1,000 booked in Red Deer so far.
“We encourage parents to book COVID-19 immunizations for their children as soon as possible,” Ballantyne said.