Lawmakers express concern over Florida's vaccination appointment system

Several counties in the state were part of Florida's pilot program for the COVID-19 vaccination appointment system, including Seminole County. 

The Seminole County Emergency Management Director said the county was part of a pilot program for the state's COVID-19 vaccination reservation system. It hasn't launched yet, but it's a website where people across the state will be able to register for an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine.  During the pilot, Seminole County says there were some technical issues that the state is working to fix. 

"There were some issues as any launch takes place. So systems crash just like always and telephone systems crashed," said Seminole County Emergency Manager Alan Harris. "Thank god they didn't launch it statewide. They were very wise in how they did it. They selected a couple of counties launched it, saw what happened, regroup, let's fix it, now let's launch it to a couple more, etc." 

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Some lawmakers are on board and believe the website will be helpful, but have their reservations. 

"Florida has not had the best track record with technology from the unemployment system to local vaccine websites," said Rep. Anna Eskamani. 

Rep. Eskamani has said despite concerns over the system crashing, she believes a statewide system is safer than a third party vendor, which many counties are currently using. 

"Moving away from platforms that are really not designed for vaccine distribution, but those that are would be in the best interest for not only public health but also protecting data privacy," said Rep. Eskamani. 

The state has said the system would be an alternative to other portals counties have tried like Eventbrite. Representative Randy Fine believes the statewide site is a good long-term solution. 

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"I think it's great they're trying to move in a centralized direction as opposed to everyone doing their own thing which is what's been going on," said Fine. 

The state has not announced an exact date for when the system will be launched but said it would be in the coming weeks. 

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