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Tests of state vaccine registry show glitches, rollout still on track


MADISON (WKOW) -- Nine health departments have access to Wisconsin's online vaccine registry and are checking the software for glitches.

"That's what a pilot test is for, and that's why we're doing this pilot testing week," Julie Willems Van Dijk, the deputy secretary for the Department of Health Services, said Tuesday.

Some departments have found bugs in the system, particularly when it comes to scheduling appointments for second doses.

"It's early in the process, but, right now, it doesn't have the complexities needed in regard to second dose scheduling," Waukesha County Chief Information Officer Lance Spranger told WKOW's Milwaukee affiliate WISN.

"This is,as we've said, before, really complicated," Willems Van Dijk said. "You've got to make sure people who got a Moderna dose the first time get a Moderna dose the second time, and because of the way we distribute vaccine, we have to make sure people come back to the same site for their second doses."

Though several health departments have access to the site, Wisconsinites shouldn't expect to find a link this week.

Local departments' participation

Neither of the two departments in South Central Wisconsin participating in the pilot program has launched the portal publicly.

"We have not started using the registry, and I’m not yet sure when we will be transitioning to it," Christy Vogt with Public Health Madison & Dane County said Tuesday.

It's a similar story in Green County, too.

"Green County Public Health has been working closely with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to get started using WCVR," Bridget Craker, a public health educator with the department, said. "At this point in time, we are continuing to coordinate the best way to utilize WCVR to best serve our community. Green County Public Health will communicate to the public when our department launches WCVR for our vaccine clinics."

DHS also lists the Rock County community vaccine site as a partner in the pilot program. According to Rock County Public Health's website, the clinic is still in a soft launch phase, and there is no public link to register for an appointment.

Some health departments, including PHMDC, have online forms to register for vaccine appointments. Vogt told 27 News those forms are county-specific and not linked to the state registry.

Other hiccups in testing

Willems Van Dijk said public health departments are also working to make sure people currently on waitlists aren't bumped to the back of the line when the new registry goes live.

"We've been working with Microsoft on a way to import those waiting lists and get folks who have been waiting into the scheduling system so they can move forward," she said.

Vaccinators have to opt in to use the system, and Willems Van Dijk said public health departments will be the first to have access. She said other vaccinators will gain access in coming weeks, though not every vaccinator in the state will join the system.

The registry is set to launch statewide on March 1.