A Wellington man was left baffled after a Covid vaccine Healthline mix-up this morning.
Capital & Coast DHB has apologised after Wellingtonians trying to book their Covid vaccines were unable to access the service through a number listed by the Ministry of Health.
Wellington man Boudewyn Couprie is in group 3 and said he has been calling his GP and the health board for some time, inquiring about when he can be vaccinated.
After seeing the 0800 number listed this morning he quickly got on the phone.
"I'm on hold for 15 minutes and then I finally get an answer … and then they say 'no we're actually not doing any bookings for the Capital & Coast District Health board – they're doing it all themselves'."
Frustrated, Couprie hung up only to be called back 15 minutes later.
"I get a call saying 'actually you were right, we were wrong and here's your booking'."
"The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. I don't even think the left hand knows the right hand exists.
"They're all deferring to someone else who they think is responsible for the job – no one's taking responsibility."
Couprie had since been able to book both vaccine appointments, but said the confusion was concerning given the possible circulation of vaccine hesitancy.
"There's a lot of vaccine hesitancy out there, there are a lot of people that are a bit unsure.
"Then there's people like me who are absolutely desperate to get the vaccine and they're making it as hard as possible."
A CCDHB spokesperson said this morning they were aware people calling the national Covid vaccination healthline were given the incorrect information.
"We apologise for this and have worked with the COVID Vaccination Healthline to ensure it is booking eligible people in our region correctly."
The Ministry of Health launched an 0800 number this morning, which allowed people in group 3 who had not yet been able to book a vaccination to make an appointment.
The announcement was met with several commenters from Wellington who said they had struggled to make bookings through the listed number.
One said the number did not work for Capital & Coast and Hutt Valley DHBs, and the people taking the calls did not know of a Wellington phone number to direct callers to.
Another said she had been placed on hold for 25 minutes, only to be told CCDHB was not booking appointments.
Another Wellingtonian was told the 0800 number did not work for the Wellington region, and was advised to call his GP instead.
The Capital & Coast District Health board commented in response, saying people were able to book appointments at any of the region's 12 vaccination centres via the number provided.
"We have followed up with the national call centre to ensure they are giving correct advice," read the comment.
"Please try again in an hour. We apologise that the correct information was not provided."
A CCDHB spokesperson said people who received incorrect information should contact the Covid vaccination healthline (0800 28 29 26), which was open every day 8am - 8pm.