Website Breakdown: Very Low Number of Registered Citizens Vaccinated

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

Davor Puklavecl / PIXSELL
Davor Puklavecl / PIXSELL

The multi-million kunaa Ministry of Health platform, which was pompously put into operation in February and which saw tens of thousands of citizens apply for vaccination, has utterly failed. 

As Jutarnji List learned from the county institutes of public health, in most counties, no one was able to get vaccinated after registering on the platform, and those counties that tried to use it gave up because the system was unclear and full of errors, which created clutter and chaos on the ground.

At the largest mass vaccination point in the country, the Zagreb Fair, only citizens ordered by family doctors through the CEZIH ordering system were vaccinated this week. The Teaching Institute for Public Health “Dr. Andrija Štampar” says that they decided to do so after the experience from previous weeks when they tried to implement and report from the platform. Still, the response of those invited from the platform was extremely low – from 20 to a maximum of 50 percent, due to which their numerous deadlines remained unfilled.

There are probably more reasons for this. There is a shorter call time, the development of information about side effects with certain vaccines, and even technical challenges such as emails being classified as ‘Promotions’ for Google mail clients, they explain. They used to receive the registered call late in the evening with the notification that they have a vaccination date at 8 am, so they would see the email a few hours after their appointment had already passed.

After the arrival of Pfizer and the need to raise the reliability of those invited to a higher level, this week, Zagreb exclusively chose the family doctor channel for vaccinations. 

“This has successfully raised the capacity to about 4,500 citizens per day,” they said.

They add that so far, a total of more than 30,000 people have been vaccinated at the Fair, of which about 7,000 (23%) through the platform. They also tried to use the platform in Varaždin. Still, as Marin Bosilj, the director of the Varaždin Institute, revealed, they experienced an incredible mess that they do not want to repeat.

“On the day of vaccination, they subsequently sent us people, without their full names, only initials. So we controlled the OIB at the checkpoints and slowed down the whole process. Also, it was not clearly indicated to the people that they had first just registered them as interested and that they would only be given an appointment later. That is why, when the checkpoint opened, everyone enrolled came. Chaos,” he points out and adds that in such a confusion, only about 500 people ordered through the platform were vaccinated at two points in three terms. All the others, 3,900 of them vaccinated at checkpoints, were given an appointment through a family doctor.

“We have opened the office access to the national electronic platform. The institute opens an appointment, doctors, who are familiar with the technology, enroll in any other examination. The number of patients per doctor is limited so that those younger and more computer-savvy would not get more appointments than others with the fastest finger system. When the appointments are filled, we close the calendar, and further orders are not possible. All the data have already been entered, and it is enough to come to the checkpoint only with a confirmation,” said the expert of the Institute of Information Technology Vedran Klarić.

“In Istria, we do not use the state platform, and we have not used it. We are still vaccinating the priority group – the chronically ill and those over 65 years of age. That is why vaccination through that platform is not a topic for us yet,” says Ante Ivančić from the Istrian health center. For now, in the County of Istria, all those who want to be vaccinated are sent from their doctors.

The director of the Vukovar-Srijem County Public Health Institute, Dr. Kata Krešić, said that so far, they have not needed to use the platform at all.

“We didn’t even have enough vaccines to use the platform. All vaccinations that have been performed so far have been in family medicine, and at the checkpoints, it was organized for people who were reported and referred by their family doctors,” says Dr. Krešić.

Only 1,500 citizens of Karlovac County applied for vaccination through the platform, a rather small number of 22,450 people vaccinated so far, i.e., vaccines distributed. The director of the Karlovac County Public Health Institute, Branko Zoretić, emphasizes that a good part of that number has already been vaccinated because they are on the lists of their family doctor.

Jutarnji also asked the Ministry of Health for comments and data on several occasions. On Friday, we were told that the answer was “related to the topic of vaccinations and platforms in the work of professional services.”

For more on coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel, border, and quarantine rules, as well as the locations of vaccination points and testing centres up and down the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section.


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