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Software issue for Brazos Center vaccination hub causes scheduling issues

Community members selected by Red Cross to get appointment vacancies were not previously registered through St. Joseph portal
Health care workers hope to administer 5,000 shots of the Moderna vaccine over four days inside...
Health care workers hope to administer 5,000 shots of the Moderna vaccine over four days inside the Brazos Center this week.(KBTX)
Published: Feb. 4, 2021 at 12:16 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Brazos County COVID-19 Vaccination Task Force leader Jim Stewart says it was a software issue that caused appointments to go unfilled this week at the Brazos County Community Vaccination Hub.

“It was an unfortunate set of circumstances,” Stewart says.

Stewart explains the software the hub is using to allow residents to schedule their appointments had a glitch that would not allow an eligible person to schedule an appointment less than 24 hours before the preferred time. He says some of those selected to schedule an appointment did not schedule their appointment more than 24 hours in advance and that meant there were open times for appointments.

Stewart explains that doses of the Moderna vaccine had been set aside for those appointment times because officials had anticipated they would be filled. When they went unfilled, hub officials reached out to the Red Cross to find eligible residents to receive those doses.

Stewart says those that were selected by the Red Cross had not been previously registered through the St. Joseph portal, but still eligible for 1B status.

“Many of these folks do not have email addresses,” Stewart said.

Stewart says the Red Cross was selected to identify those individuals that were not previously registered and received vacant vaccination appointments based on their contacts in the community and their partnership in assisting the Brazos Center hub.

“[The Red Cross] knows the community leaders in the Hispanic community and the African-American community,” Stewart says.

He says Brazos Center hub officials saw the unfilled appointments as an opportunity to “reach the under-served community.” Stewart explains that he did what he believed what right based on the circumstances and says that in retrospect, he still believes it was the right decision.

He says the Red Cross worked to identify those individuals based on a need in their communities. Wednesday officials clarified those were “under-served” communities. Stewart says the Red Cross worked with hub officials to get those people registered and get them vaccinations that had been set aside.

“Going forward, that’s not the protocol we’re going to use,” Stewart says.

He explains that a wait-list is currently in the works for any appointments that go unfilled. Stewart says this was an unforeseen obstacle that he and his team worked to find a solution for with the help of community leaders. He says this is simply the product of an evolving system that’s creating solutions as problems arise.

“We’ve been in operation for three days now,” Stewart says, “and as much as we wanted to create a perfect system, we were not able to do that. And every day we learn new ways of doing our job better.

“Jim Stewart has made a commitment to put this vaccination in everybody’s arms. So whether you get it today, or you get it in two weeks, we’re gonna get this vaccine to you.”

“I’ve got to get these folks in there,” Stewart says “and I’ve got to get them vaccinated

“It’s not a completed mission as far as I’m concerned until I’ve gotten everyone vaccinated. I can’t say that enough. Everyone will get vaccinated before we’re done with this process.”

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