UPDATE - THURSDAY 10am
Ballarat Health Services have reassured people planning to get their COVID-19 vaccinations at the Mercure vaccination clinic that wait times are generally less than 30 minutes despite errors which plagued the statewide booking system on Tuesday.
Patients waited up to two hours on Tuesday for their vaccination after system errors resulted in a number of double bookings.
"This error extended wait times and we apologise to those affected, particularly given the weather was so unpleasant," BHS said in a statement.
On Wednesday, those with an appointment waited less than 30 minutes for their injection.
The number of people wanting their vaccination has been increasing each day, with BHS confident of soon reaching its daily goal of 900 to 1000 vaccinations per day.
"The mornings continue to be the busiest time of day, with high demand from walk-ins (people without an appointment) each morning."
Walk-ins are permitted from 10am but BHS is encouraging people to consider attending in the afternoon because mornings are very busy. Walk-ins cannot join the queue after 5pm on weekdays or after 2pm on weekends.
"While there have been reported issues with the booking system in recent days, we continue to recommend that people make an appointment rather than walk in. We cannot guarantee how long walk-ins will have to wait on any given day."
IN OTHER NEWS
The Victorian vaccination website provide estimated wait-times at vaccine clinics.
When calling the State vaccination booking line, the options have changed and after calling 1800 675 398 the to book an appointment at Ballarat are now 1, 1, 1.
If you call and experience issues getting through, please try again later in the week.
For more information go to bhs.org.au/vaccine
People booked to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations at the Mercure on Tuesday faced frustration and an icy wait after a mix-up in the state's central booking system.
The 1800 675 398 booking service experienced system errors resulting in a number of double bookings, which extended waiting times to about 90 minutes.
In a statement, BHS apologised to those left waiting, particularly given the poor weather conditions. "We are working closely with the state booking centre to improve systems as the vaccine program continues to expand, and we thank the community for their ongoing patience and support," they stated.
"While there have been reported issues with the booking system, we continue to recommend that people make a appointment rather than walk in. We cannot guarantee how long walk-ins will have to wait on any given day, although we have seen higher demand each morning, than in the afternoon."
About 500 people were vaccinated at the BHS Community Vaccination Clinic on Monday, the first day that over 50s became eligible for the jab. "The number of people choosing to be vaccinated continues to increase steadily each day, and we are confident of reaching our daily goal of administering 900-1000 vaccinations per day soon."
Frank Van Der Hoeven travelled from the other side of Daylesford to make his 11.50am appointment, but estimated it took more than two hours by the time he returned to his car.
IN OTHER NEWS:
"There was a long queue there which I expected to be the walk-in queue. I was told that the computer system buggered up today and double booked everyone and you could either wait for an hour and get in or rebook," he said.
"I live on the other side of Daylesford so the option for me was to just wait there. At that time, the queue was quite long and the rain was heavy. Outside, I reckon there would have been 40 people."
Mr Van Der Hoeven said while staff were handling the situation well, there was a lack of communication to those waiting.
"I think it was very unorganised and the communication coming backwards and forwards in regards to waiting time was inaccurate and I think a lot of people got upset and it turned a lot of people away," he said.
Lake Wendouree resident Terry Natt attempted to get his vaccination by appearing as a walk-in on Tuesday afternoon but waiting times forced him to turn around and make an appointment later in the week.
"I was told it would be a two-hour wait. I thought, 'Okay, I can do two hours. I could pick the kids up at 3:30' but even if you'd booked, I heard it was a one and a half hour wait," he said.
"When I was waiting in line, I waited an hour and realised I'd moved about a metre, maybe two. I thought I'm not gonna make it by 3pm so I've just had to rebook another appointment.
"To be honest, the staff are dealing with a bit of frustration. They're also putting - a bit frustrating as well - 1.5 metre separation distances so you've got old people in the 70s... it's okay for me, I'm closer to 50, but you're putting 70-year-olds standing in the rain as well, which is pretty unfortunate.
"The staff are only working under instructions, so I understand from their point of view as well."
Although walk-in appointments are available at the Mercure, booking is recommended by calling 1800 675 398.
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