Victorian Government COVID vaccine booking website MIA amid dud claims

Frustrated Victorians desperately trying to book the jab are having salt rubbed in their wounds as an online booking system remains offline and phone bookings are near impossible to obtain. 

On Thursday, as Melburnians persisted with attempts to get vaccinated, calls to the government hotline were simply cut-off after being mocked by a brief automated message. 

‘Due to a high volume of calls, we cannot assist you,’ the voice said. 

Frustrated Victorians vented their anger after attempting to access an online booking site to get the jab

Frustrated Victorians vented their anger after attempting to access an online booking site to get the jab

Frustrated Victorians vented their anger after attempting to access an online booking site to get the jab 

People wait in line to be vaccinated for COVID-19 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre last month. Long waits are becoming the norm in Victoria amid a range of bungles by bumbling bureaucrats

People wait in line to be vaccinated for COVID-19 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre last month. Long waits are becoming the norm in Victoria amid a range of bungles by bumbling bureaucrats

People wait in line to be vaccinated for COVID-19 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre last month.

Long waits are becoming the norm in Victoria amid a range of bungles by bumbling bureaucrats

People line up to be tested for COVID-19 after it was released into Victoria from South Australia

People line up to be tested for COVID-19 after it was released into Victoria from South Australia

People line up to be tested for COVID-19 after it was released into Victoria from South Australia

Meanwhile, north of the border in New South Wales, those wanting to get the jab can obtain one akin to a simple click and collect. 

Victorians were given false hope that they too might be able to book a vaccine appointment online after a Victorian Government booking system went live on Saturday night.

The state government had set up a dedicated hotline after slamming Victorians for failing to get the jab quick enough and placing them into lockdown last Thursday. 

Both the new number and the existing COVID-19 hotline immediately went into melt down as people aged 40 to 49 suddenly became eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine. 

Victoria’s health department line received more than 77,000 calls in just 15 minutes, prompting Telstra to double the amount of phone lines and increase operator numbers from 350 to 550. 

The booking website went live two days later to sighs of relief from a frustrated community suffering its fourth hard lockdown. 

It was short lived. 

Health officials would later declare Victoria’s online vaccine booking system had accidentally gone live on Saturday night leaving hundreds in the lurch.

‘Victoria’s online vaccine booking system is currently in test mode, preparing for launch,’ it tweeted.

‘It will be available for use soon. Until then, you can book by calling 1800 675 398 or visiting (Coronavirus Victoria website) to see walk-in centres.’

The view down a empty Bourke Street Mall on Wednesday in Melbourne

The view down a empty Bourke Street Mall on Wednesday in Melbourne

The view down a empty Bourke Street Mall on Wednesday in Melbourne 

Victoria's health department claimed the vaccine booking site was not supposed to go live yet

Victoria's health department claimed the vaccine booking site was not supposed to go live yet

Victoria’s health department claimed the vaccine booking site was not supposed to go live yet

In NSW, citizens are simply able to book the jab via a website

In NSW, citizens are simply able to book the jab via a website

In NSW, citizens are simply able to book the jab via a website 

The department assured anyone who booked online during the ‘test’ would have their bookings honoured.

‘And we look forward to seeing you there,’ it tweeted.

Bureaucrats promised an Slot Online system would be operational before the end of the weekend.

The state government had purchased the system from Microsoft in mid-January for a whopping $6 million.

On announcing the deal, it had been lauded for being ‘fine-tuned’ for Victoria’s use. 

On Thursday, opposition health spokeswoman Georgie Crozier labelled the website a dud, telling Daily Mail Australia tech experts believed it ‘wasn’t fit for purpose’. 

‘They have had months to prepare for vaccine bookings.

We have known the state was going to have some responsibility and yet they have failed to plan,’ she said.

‘It’s pretty obvious they thought they’d never have another outbreak as that has been a total (disaster) as well. 

‘Testing sites, wait times etc, no surge capacity, and the continual failures with contact tracing – including identifying wrong sites and debacle with QR codes which is all part of it.’

‘Honestly, these people running the show have no clue.’

Victorian Shadow Health Minister Georgie Crozier has been calling out her bumbling rivals for a series of mistakes

Victorian Shadow Health Minister Georgie Crozier has been calling out her bumbling rivals for a series of mistakes

Victorian Shadow Health Minister Georgie Crozier has been calling out her bumbling rivals for a series of mistakes 

People line up to be vaccinated in Melbourne last month

People line up to be vaccinated in Melbourne last month

People line up to be vaccinated in Melbourne last month 

Victorian Testing Commander Jeroen Weimar claims a government website booking system for the Covid jab will be ready in weeks

Victorian Testing Commander Jeroen Weimar claims a government website booking system for the Covid jab will be ready in weeks

Victorian Testing Commander Jeroen Weimar claims a government website booking system for the Covid jab will be ready in weeks

Daily Mail Australia contacted the Premier’s office on Thursday over the debacle, but received no response.   

Last week, Victoria’s Covid-19 testing commander Jeroen Weimar had assured reporters the new platform was expected to be up and running within weeks, rather than months.

‘We will launch the online portal when we are confident it will be a good option for people to use,’ Mr Weimar said.

‘We were standing here a week ago with low levels of demand for vaccination across the network.’ 

With Victoria almost entirely out of the Pfizer jab, forcing health officials to beg for vaccine donations from other states, Victorians face a bleak winter with little respite anytime soon. 

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