Walgreens COVID-19 vaccine site back up after technical problems Tuesday

Lisa Schencker, Chicago Tribune
·1 min read

Walgreens’ website to schedule appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations was back up and running Tuesday afternoon after experiencing outages earlier in the day amid increased traffic to the site.

The Deerfield-based retail pharmacy chain said in a statement that demand for appointments remains high, and it was working to resolve outages as quickly as possible, fixing some in as little as an hour. Spokeswoman Kelli Teno said the problems lasted for a couple of hours Tuesday.

The company said it was “committed to a seamless scheduling experience to achieve the shared goal of vaccinating our most vulnerable populations as quickly as possible.”

The glitch came just days before Walgreens expects to begin administering vaccine doses being sent to its stores as part of a new federal program. Walgreens has said it anticipates receiving an additional 39,300 doses a week in Illinois through the program, and expects to begin vaccinating people with those doses Friday.

In Illinois, pharmacies and other providers are now administering vaccines to people who are 65 and older or front-line essential workers, such as teachers and grocery store employees.

People who logged into the Walgreens site earlier Tuesday either received error messages when they tried to schedule appointments or a message saying the site would be “unavailable temporarily while we make some technical updates.”

It was the latest speed bump in a vaccine rollout that has frustrated many Illinois residents in recent weeks as demand continues to far outpace supply, with some people spending hours online trying to find appointments through Walgreens, other pharmacies and hospital systems.