An error in the Orange County Health Agency’s COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment app doubled the amount of vaccine appointments available countywide, creating long lines, traffic and frustration for Irvine residents.
The hiccup, which occurred on Thursday, Jan. 7, the first day of the county’s effort to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to the Phase 1A population at specific Points of Dispensing (POD) set up across the county, created thousands of extra appointments, many of which needed to be sent away.
In a text to Irvine Weekly, Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan acknowledged the scheduling app error, saying it overwhelmed the amount of appointments available at all of Orange County’s POD sites, one of which is located the Orange County Fire Authority Headquarters, in Irvine.
“Yesterday was the first day the soft sites were open and the scheduling app doubled the appointments scheduled so there were twice as many people signed up than expected,” Khan texted to Irvine Weekly on Friday, Jan. 8. “The County is working through this issue. It’s important that we work out any issues during the run of the soft sites so there are no issues when we begin opening up the super sites.”
There are currently three POD sites in Orange County, including There are two additional sites in the cities of Anaheim and Huntington Beach.
Currently, Orange County’s Phase 1A population is being notified through the vaccine management app Othena. However, the mobile app is only available with an invitation link from HCA.
#OC residents can visit https://t.co/5248nZvz8Z & register to receive notification when #Othena, vaccine-management app, is available. Currently, app is available to download, but only those who have received an invitation link through @ochealth have log-in. #OCCOVID19 pic.twitter.com/kOQ2umPNdl
— OC Health Care Agency (@ochealth) January 8, 2021
In a Friday, Jan. 8, Facebook post after her mayor’s call with HCA, Khan said that Orange County currently has 19,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with more than 10,000 set to arrive next week.
“As of now, the OCHCA has about 19k doses on hand and will receive an additional 14k next week. They anticipate using most of the 19k within 2 weeks,” Khan’s post read.
Since receiving the first doses on Dec. 16, Orange County has received 63,375 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and 52,800 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines as of January 5, according to Jessica Good, Public Information Manager of HCA.
In total, Orange County has received 116,117 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
On Thursday, Jan. 7, the county announced a partnership with the Orange County Fire Authority, to begin regional plans for five vaccine super sites, which is called “Operation Independence.”
“Establishing the Operation Independence IMT will reduce and eliminate barriers to vaccine access for Orange County’s residents,” Don Wagner, Third District Supervisor said. “This is important for the taxpayers we serve as it enables us to maintain fiscal accountability and avoid duplication of efforts at the city level.”
Khan added that the location of Orange County’s first vaccine super site will be announced by Monday, Jan. 11.
“We have offered sites in Irvine to be considered,” Khan sent in a text to Irvine Weekly.
As of Friday, Jan. 8, Khan said a total of 3,000 doses were administered between the three POD sites across Orange County on the first day.
On Thursday, Jan. 7, HCA reported that it had administered 32,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The data, according to Jessica Good, Public Information Manager at HCA, tracks vaccinations until Dec. 31.
“Please know that we have not established a frequency for future updates as of yet – we are waiting until next week when we anticipate that more robust data from the state will be available,” Good said.