Vaccine app seizes up on its first day
High demand for jabs
A huge number of people on Saturday flocked to register for a Covid-19 jab via the "Mor Prom" platform on the first day of bookings, causing the system to crash briefly due to overwhelming demand.
At press time around 300,000 had registered for a vaccine jab. Health authorities said targeted people still have time to register until the end of this month.
The Mor Prom (doctors ready) service was launched yesterday via an application and Line Account for the first group of vulnerable people: the eldery and those who have seven chronic diseases.
In the elderly group, or aged over 60, 11.7 million people are eligible for registration while those with chronic diseases make up about 4.3 million people.
The Public Health Ministry said about 70% of eligible people were likely to register for vaccination. The jabs will start on June 7.
Dr Pongsadhorn Pokpermdee, adviser to the ministry, said yesterday staff had received positive feedback for the online Covid-19 vaccine reservation system despite the problems.
The system faced delays in the morning as some hospitals did not open time slots in time for reservations, especially in Bangkok where only 24 of 160 hospitals had opened their time slots for a booking.
Fortunately, after talking to them, by afternoon 134 hospitals had opened the slots.
Around one million eligible people were not able to register yesterday due to their names not appearing in the system, as a result of "missing" data from the hospitals. In that case, they could register again later.
He said jabs will be given in hospitals only in the first phase so medical staff could take care of these vulnerable groups.
There are 1,200 state-owned hospitals, together with many privately owned hospitals which can provide a free vaccine service.
According to ministry figures, a large-scale hospital could provide the vaccine service to 600 people per day and a community hospital, 360 people per day. It is expected that the first phase will be complete within 54 days.
"I want to make clear that the vaccines in the first phase will be enough for everyone, so there is no rush to make the reservation. You have until the end of this month to make a reservation and we have already provided about 20 million slots for everyone," he told a press conference.
According to a ministry survey, around 40-60% of people had initially agreed to a vaccination, which increased to 70% after the latest wave of the outbreak.
"We expect to see around 70% of people getting the vaccine, which means there will be five million doses of vaccine left for other groups," Dr Pongsadhorn said.
The second group who are aged 60 can register in July and the jabs will start in August.
Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), said the booking system was the responsibility of the ministry.
"Mor Prom is simply one of the registration channels. Today is just the first day," he said.
He suggested two other channels -- hospitals and village health volunteers. He apologised on behalf of the team and said there was still one month to prepare the database for vaccinations.
"If it's not possible today, try again tomorrow. All eligible people should register and the data will be compared with the database in their areas. If all goes well, they can get the shots," Dr Taweesilp said.
On the internet, netizens shared their experiences accessing the Mor Prom application app. Some said they could not select their wanted hospital, the reservations were full and the steps complicated.
One Twitter user said his father is aged 65, and could not find his name. He received a suggestion that he make direct contact with the hospital.
Many could not make a reservation despite the screen showing it was available. Some found their name was missing despite the fact they were eligible.
"The government should let private hospitals provide the vaccine," one woman said.