A state website where Indiana healthcare workers sign up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine temporarily crashed Monday after being overwhelmed with traffic.
The vaccination enrollment website crashed before the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines arrived in the state, according to Indianapolis NBC affiliate WTHR, which first reported the news.
"Due to a large amount of traffic, the site is currently down," reads a message from the state health department Monday morning and obtained by WTHR. "Check back this afternoon."
The Food and Drug Administration last week granted emergency use authorization to the nation's first COVID-19 vaccine, a product developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.
A physician, nurse, respiratory therapist, pharmacist, patient care technician and environmental services technician at Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Parkview Health were the first six people in Indiana to receive doses of the COVID-19 vaccine after the state received its first allotment of the vaccine on Monday.
Indiana is among states prioritizing the COVID-19 vaccine for frontline healthcare workers, as well as for long-term care residents and staff.
More than 20,000 healthcare workers in Indiana have registered to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a news release the Indiana State Department of Health published on Monday. The department expects that more than 50 hospitals and clinics in the state will receive 55,575 doses of the vaccine by the end of the week.
The Indiana State Department of Health did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the enrollment website's crash.
The incident could be a promising sign of healthcare workers' interest in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, according to some physicians.
"Most of us are viewing these technical issues as positives that the demand for the vaccine is proving to be very, very strong," said Dr. Christopher Doehring, vice president of medical affairs at Franciscan Health Indianapolis and a member of the Indiana Coalition of Patient Safety, at a recent briefing.