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B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccine registration website holds up amid opening day pressure

British Columbia’s online booking system for immunizations has gone through the first morning without crashing.

Public health officials were cautioning people to be patient with the new system when it launched Tuesday morning.

As of 11 a.m. Tuesday, 93,031 people registered for their vaccine through the Get Vaccinated system. This includes 82,249 people registered using the online tool and 10,872 registered using the new province-wide phone system.

British Columbians can also register in person at a Service BC location.

The system is a three-step process: register, book and get vaccinated. Of those who registered on Tuesday, 26,655 received booking invitations and 14,752 appointments were booked.

Click to play video: B.C.’s online COVID-19 vaccination booking system opens Tuesday for eligible adults

The province has expanded its list of who is eligible to book an appointment. The list now includes everyone born in 1950 or earlier, Indigenous adults, and people who are clinically extremely vulnerable and have received a patient invitation letter.

“People will be able to register but we are asking those that are close to being able to book, 65-plus, to register now,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said.

“This is a legacy system. People have been working really hard to put it in place.”

Click to play video: Big increase in COVID-19 variant cases in B.C.

The Get Vaccinated system is for the aged-based vaccine rollout, and will not be used for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine rollout.

The province had experienced some problems with registering people for vaccinations.

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When the mass vaccination system was launched, the Telus call-in system used in the Vancouver Coastal Health region failed. The company apologized for the delays and made changes to speed up the registration process.

The province also experienced issues distributing the AstraZeneca vaccine through pharmacies, with some pharmacies booking people between the ages of 55 to 65 for their AstraZeneca shot early.

“I feel this level of desperation to have a system that works,” BC Liberal critic Renee Merrifield said.

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