After weeks of residents navigating the COVID-19 vaccination registration system through their local health departments, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) launched a statewide central hub streamlining the vaccination process.
The Vaccinate Virginia website went live on Tuesday.
“The Virginia Department of Health expects millions of unique visits to the site on Tuesday, and IT teams will be addressing back-end components as needed throughout the day,” according to a VDH news release on Tuesday. “Anyone who cannot get through immediately should try again.”
Residents who use the “one-stop-shop” website can pre-register online, confirm their registration status and find out more information about the vaccination process.
Virginia is currently vaccinating individuals who fall in Phases 1a and 1b.
This is the health department’s latest effort to make the vaccination sign-up process easier for residents.
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Previously, if residents were eligible for the vaccine under the current guidelines, they had to fill out a pre-registration form with their local health department.
Once the form was complete, residents would receive an email confirmation and be put on a waitlist. The health department would then contact the resident via phone or email anywhere between 4-6 weeks later to schedule their vaccination appointment.
In preparation for VDH’s new centralized vaccine sign-up system, local health districts — including the Peninsula Health District — shut down vaccination registration forms on Feb. 12 at 5 p.m. and updated websites with the new pre-registration link as of Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 8 a.m.
Residents who have already pre-registered for the vaccine do not need to re-register and can check to see if their name is on the waitlist.
“Virginians who have previously pre-registered through their local health district have been automatically imported into the new system and do not need to pre-register again,” according to VDH’s news release on Tuesday. “Data migration is continuing throughout the week and it may take several days for your name to appear in the centralized system.”
“Everyone who has previously registered is still on the list, and their status will not be affected,” VDH noted.
Residents who are “uncomfortable or unable to pre-register online” can call VDH’s new hotline starting on Wednesday.
The number is 1-877-VAX-IN-VA or 1-877-829-4682.
As for vaccinations, VDH noted those using CVS Pharmacy must continue to register through the CVS website “due to technological limits with CVS Pharmacy’s national appointment system.”
“Virginia has vaccinated over 12% of the population with at least one dose,” according to the VDH announcement. “Demand for the COVID-19 vaccine currently far outstrips supply, and it is expected to take several months to reach all who want to be vaccinated.”
Larry Hill, VDH spokesperson, and Irene Ferrainolo, spokesperson and population health manager for the Peninsula Health District were not immediately available for comment.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated on Wednesday after Gov. Ralph Northam announced the number for the new call center.
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