flashbacks
March 3, 2021

Germany was one of the international stars of the early response to the COVID-19 pandemic last year thanks to a renowned contact tracing system that kept infection rates low, but its vaccine rollout is not going so well. So far, the country has only administered 6.2 million doses, well below the 21 million in the United Kingdom, which began its drive a few weeks earlier, but has a smaller population.

One of the big issues is how difficult it is to sign up for an appointment in the first place, at least in some regions of the country. Reports the Financial Times, the registration portal requires 10 online steps, including a two-step authentication process. For months, the website would also only allow people to sign up for one appointment, even though two doses of the vaccines available in Germany are required for full inoculation, and if everything is booked, there's no waiting list people to notify people when more doses become available. "It's totally amateurish and incredibly inflexible," one German health official told FT.

The jumbled nature of the system is giving some Americans "flashbacks" to the highly-anticipated healthcare.gov launch in 2013, which was tainted by a variety of technical difficulties and an incomplete website design that made it challenging for people to sign up for their health insurance. Read more at The Financial Times. Tim O'Donnell

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