HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - As the state prepares to dramatically ramp up vaccination efforts, officials are still working out some kinks with online appointment registration systems.
One problem led to hundreds being turned away from a Maui vaccination site this week.
One Maui resident said he was scheduled to get a shot Wednesday at the University of Hawaii Maui campus. But when he arrived, he was told to turn around.
“They informed me that the site was closed due to over capacity,” he said.
“I informed him that I had an appointment, showed him my appointment, and he said, the DOH closed the site due to over capacity.”
The man, who asked not to be named, works for an essential business and deals with the public on a daily basis. He said he was never given a back-up date, time or location.
The state Health Department said the problem stemmed from the federal government’s Vaccine Administration Management System website, which gave users options that weren’t open to them.
The UHMC location was reserved for high-risk kupuna.
“So where they had been on track to do 350 vaccines to a very vulnerable population, they ended up getting a ton of people there,” said Health Department Director Dr. Libby Char.
Altogether 750 people were vaccinated at the location, more than double the expected number.
Char said the problem happened again the next day.
“They did their best to accommodate them. We realized that it was quite chaotic,” she said.
Char also said some people tried to walk up without appointments.
The state has asked for patience and said they are now contacting those who could not get their appointments fulfilled to reschedule.