OK State Department of Health plans weekly ‘POD’ event for smaller southeastern counties
DURANT, Okla. (KXII) - The Bryan County Health Department says they’ve filled up appointment slots for tomorrow’s vaccine pod event in Durant. They’re continuing to better the online scheduling portal to make getting appointments easier, and are even planning to add another weekly event.
Bryan County Regional Health Director Juliann Montgomery says the first ‘pod’ or point-of-distribution events went smoothly, but the online portal has caused confusion.
“The way the system is set up is that you’re basically signing up for notifications on when appointments are available,” said Montgomery.
She calls it a product that came right off the shelf, and that they are also learning as they go.
“As we set schedules, the system will notify you that there are appointments available and that you need to go in and make an appointment,” said Montgomery.
They’re hoping more vaccines become available so they can open more appointments at a time.
“Microsoft is trying to work on enhancements that enable us to have more customization. It does create some confusion and a lot of frustration because you know there’s no guarantee that you’re gonna get an appointment,” said Montgomery.
Montgomery says they’re asking for program enhancements so patients can designate between their first or second dose in scheduling.
“We’re trying to actively problem solve around issues that the scheduler innately has because it’s off the shelf until we can get further customizations from Microsoft,” said Montgomery.
The four major weekly pods are continuing in Pittsburg, Bryan, Le Flore, and McCurtain counties Tuesday through Friday respectively.
“We realize that there are access issues for people who need to drive because not everybody is conveniently located near Durant,” said Montgomery.
On Monday they plan to start a new weekly ‘pod’ for other southeast Oklahoma counties.
“We’re calling it a ‘pop-up pod’ and on Mondays we’re gonna rotate counties through our smaller counties,” said Montgomery.
The first schedule and location has not been released yet.
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