CORONAVIRUS UTAH

7,200 Utahns Schedule To Receive COVID-19 Vaccine In Error

Feb 27, 2021, 10:19 PM | Updated: Feb 28, 2021, 9:29 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Thousands of Utahns not yet eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine were able to make an appointment thanks to a glitch on the state’s coronavirus website.

On Saturday, many people found themselves on vaccinate.utah.gov.

“We jumped on the opportunity,” said an anonymous person who signed up for the vaccine.

In fact, more than 7,200 people visited the site to sign-up for the COVID-19 vaccine, including a KSL viewer who asked to remain anonymous.

“I’m more than happy to receive the vaccine, and if it’s available to me, I definitely want to get it,” said the viewer.

This individual, like many, heard a rumor that a healthcare provider was expecting a surplus of vaccines and opening appointments to the general public.

“I thought that given that I had heard this information from a friend in the medical field, and the fact that the website allowed me to sign up, that it must be true,” the viewer said.

But the rumor wasn’t true.

“Somehow, word got out that there was more vaccine supply, which again — not true,” said Gabriel Moreno, spokesperson for the Salt Lake County Health Department.

Health officials said a glitch in the website fueled the rumors because it never asked applicants about pre-existing conditions, unlike Salt Lake County’s website.

“People are bypassing our website and going straight to the vaccinate Utah, which at the time, did not have a check box that says, ‘I certify that I do have a qualifying medical conditions,'” said Moreno.

State health officials issued a statement Saturday afternoon addressing the issue:

“An error in the registration system at Vaccinate.Utah.Gov allowed Utah residents who are not currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to schedule appointments. Approximately 7,200 people who do not meet eligibility requirements were able to make appointments.

“These appointments will be canceled over the next 24 hours, and email notifications will be sent to each person whose appointment has been canceled. Several hundred people, after learning of the error on social media, have already canceled appointments on their own.”

Moreno said administration of the vaccine was reliant on the “honor system.”

Health officials hope residents were honest when answering the questions while scheduling their appointments.

“Salt Lake County Health Department mass vaccination site managers are instructed to follow state guidelines, so those who arrive to their appointment and inform us that they do not in fact have a qualifying medical condition will be asked to wait until they are eligible to receive the vaccine,” Moreno said.

But they were grateful for the eagerness.

“I see this as a good sign that many Utahns are motivated to get the vaccine,” said Moreno.

Officials told KSL the glitch was in the process of getting fixed.

Anyone who believes their appointment was cancelled in error was asked to contact their local county health department or try scheduling again.

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7,200 Utahns Schedule To Receive COVID-19 Vaccine In Error