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Coronavirus: Vaccine portal crashes amid heavy traffic (Update 2)

a nurse prepares a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (covid 19) at the health centre of latsia in the capital nicosia

The government vaccine portal crashed a few minutes after opening on Wednesday due to heavy traffic, angering thousands of people who were trying to arrange jab appointments.

The portal opened for people aged 61 and above but it crashed soon afterwards because it could not handle the number of applicants.

Research and Innovation and Digital Policy Minister Kyriacos Kokkinos said afterwards that close to 4,000 appointments were made in two and a half minutes, the overwhelming majority for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Kokkinos said the system was handling hundreds of requests per second, as people were trying to secure a slot with those two vaccines. Close to 19,400 slots were made available to the around 25,000 eligible people.

Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were no longer available, Kokkinos said, but there were 15,000 AstraZeneca jabs when the portal reopens later Wednesday.

Following the collapse, the portal was taken offline so that techies could identify and resolve the problem.

The crash also affected the Gesy portal, as the two shared the same platform. The problem emerged because the OTP or one time password, was the same system for both.

He said the portal was expected to reopen later in the day at a time that will be announced.

Speaking on state radio earlier Wednesday, Kokkinos said aid the system overloading was not an excuse.

“I’ve told my people, when the platform opens, if I have 25,000 available vaccines, it should be able to serve 150,000, to have a cushion that is, because there are people who enter from two or three separate accounts for the same person,” he said.

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