D.C.’s health department launched a new portal on Monday to give residents easy, secure access to their own COVID-19 vaccine records. A day later, DC Health took the system offline after some residents reported receiving other people’s records instead.
In the portal, residents are supposed to enter their name, birthdate and phone number and then receive a link. That link is supposed to show one’s name, birthdate and the dates and types of each vaccine received.
For some people, it worked; others said they received the vaccination records of other people, without a name or birthdate in common.
"I received a gentleman’s vaccine card with a QR code and it was not my information. So, I panicked because I didn't want to have somebody else's health records," D.C. resident Katherine told News4 on Wednesday via a video interview. She did not want News4 to use her last name.
A spokesperson for Mayor Muriel Bowser said about 30 people have notified the health department they received someone else's records. It's unclear the total number of people affected.
News4 broke the story Tuesday on Twitter.
News4 spoke with one person who said they received the wrong records and another who said their records were given to the wrong person. Both were upset.
DC Health took down the portal after learning it was not an isolated error.
“DC Health is aware that a small number of residents have experienced issues while using the DVR system during a period of high utilization this afternoon,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “We are currently remediating this issue and the site is temporarily offline for maintenance. We ask that residents monitor our social platforms to learn when the site is back up and running.”
"I feel terrible because I really like the mayor, but I just wonder who built this … website and how did it get launched without testing it. I mean, that was a big fail," Katherine said.
A health department official said the cause of the problem was not immediately clear.
Anyone who has a problem with the portal or is concerned was asked to call DC Health at 855-363-0333.