Starting at 5 p.m. Friday, Virginians could find they are unable to preregister for the COVID-19 vaccine, as the state moves toward a centralized system.
The Virginia Department of Health will be moving all of the local health districts’ waiting lists into a central system, and will be replacing each of the local surveys with a link to the unified system.
Every part of Virginia is now in Phase 2, which means anyone 16 or older is eligible for COV…
The new system is expected to launch at 8 a.m. Tuesday and is intended to offer a more user-friendly way both for people to express interest in getting a shot and for public health officials to manage the lists.
Virginia also has set up a call center to help people with questions about vaccines. The hotline, 877-275-8343, will operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, with staff able to help people who don’t have computers or who have difficulty using them. Language translation services will be available.
Until now, Virginia’s local health districts have been on their own to use whatever resources they could cobble together to preregister people. Phone systems have been inadequate, and people have been frustrated at the lack of response and coordination.
Anyone 65 or older is eligible to receive the vaccine, along with certain essential workers and younger adults with chronic illnesses. As nearly half of Virginia residents compete for limited doses, some people have registered multiple times in the same systems.
The centralized system is intended to help older Virginians more easily navigate the process. It will also give the local health districts access to better information for planning vaccination clinics, and it should cut down on the duplication of records that has occurred as some people have preregistered numerous times.
The health department said people will not be able to preregister while the systems are being integrated.
Existing waiting lists will be imported into the new system so that anyone who has already filled out a form does not need to do so again. Once the system is up and running, people can check to verify that they are on it.