COVID19: Portal back up after stampede to book anything but AstraZeneca jab

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After crashing for nine hours, Cyprus’ vaccination portal reopened on Wednesday at 5 pm, going offline just minutes after opening as Cypriots made a beeline for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, discarding AstraZeneca.

The Deputy Ministry of Innovation said the portal was back online at 5 pm for people aged 61 and above to book a vaccine appointment, after crashing just three minutes after it opened at 8 am.

In charge of the portal, the Innovation Ministry said the platform had crashed because it could not handle the volume of requests.

Some 19,378 vaccines appointment were made available on the platform.

In comments to state broadcaster CyBC, Deputy Minister Kyriacos Kokkinos said the system went down after 3991 appointments for vaccination were booked.

“That is 360 requests per second,” said Kokkinos.

“By the time it crashed, all the slots for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines had been exhausted. Only AstraZeneca jabs, around 15,000, will be available when it reopens,” he added.

Kokkinos noted that the system came under pressure as many people logged in at the same time only to book a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

“Some 3,500 appointments for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines had been taken within the three minutes the platform was open, leaving some 15,000 AstraZeneca vaccines.”

Kokkinos said that just 200 AstraZeneca vaccine appointments had been taken up, which is believed to be a sign of growing mistrust after the jab was linked to rare blood clotting incidents.

Vaccination appointments for those aged 61 close at 7 pm on Thursday.