COVID-19

California’s vaccination website is problematic, to say the least

Written by Miguel Palacios

Designed to assist residents in getting vaccinated against Covid-19, the My Turn app/website has done anything but. According to Miranda Greene at California Healthline, My Turn has received poor usability ratings. The app/website was introduced this week, though many have claimed it is glitchy and problematic.

On the surface, My Turn appears to be a great resource. It allows people to input their information, figure out whether they are eligible for vaccinations at this time, and if they are not, they can sign up to be notified when they become eligible. If the app/website worked the way it was intended, there wouldn’t be an issue. But there is an issue, and it is a major one.

For starters, the My Turn system was created out of reaction to the pandemic. It has been rushed through production and likely received no testing before being released. Some people have said that it is not user-friendly and seems to only be navigable by those who are already tech-savvy. Others have blamed leadership. California Governor Gavin Newsom has poorly managed the state’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which this issue is part of.  

According to Hana Schank, director of strategy for the Public Interest Technology program at the New America think tank, part of the problem is that our leaders lack technological expertise. “The people who are making the policy decisions are not equipped to make the tech decisions. Their ultimate goal is less focused on a good consumer experience and more on achieving a tangible result — which, in this case, is getting people vaccinated.” To Schank, this technical failure is not on the technology, but on the bureaucracy and Democrat leadership in California.

Other experts state similar opinions.  Arien Malec, senior vice president of research and development at Change Healthcare, states, “My Turn, in particular, is a usability nightmare.” From outdated state vaccination websites to lack of supplies, My Turn has left several California residents disenchanted with the idea of a vaccination appointment website/app.

Some of the glitches experienced include error messages, assigning appointments out of error, not allowing people to schedule appointments, overbooking appointments, and showing no appointments available. Although the need for an appointment system is dire, the residents of California need one that works. This poor performance is a direct reflection of the poor management of the leaders in California, especially Gov. Newsom.

Photo via myturn.ca.gov