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Va. unveils centralized vaccine registration

RICHMOND — Virginians who have not already pre-registered to get a COVID-19 vaccine can now do so online at vaccinate.virginia.gov or by calling 877-VAX-IN-VA.

Gov. Ralph Northam unveiled Virginia’s new centralized pre-registration system Wednesday. It allows individuals to easily pre-register for the free vaccine, confirm they are on the waiting list, and learn more about the Commonwealth’s vaccination program.

“Virginians have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines, and these new tools will help them get answers, get pre-registered, and most importantly, get vaccinated,” said Northam. “While our vaccine supply remains limited, we are doing everything we can to acquire more doses and put shots into the arms of eligible individuals in a safe, efficient and equitable manner.”

He thanked everyone for patience and continued compliance with public health guidance “so we can mitigate the spread of this dangerous virus.”

The new website and call center are designed to streamline vaccine pre-registration by bringing disparate processes from local health departments together under one unified system.

Virginians who have already pre-registered through their local health district do not need to sign up again. They have already been transferred to the centralized system, and their pre-registration status will not be affected.

Transferring existing data to the centralized database will continue throughout this week. It may take several days for everyone to appear in the new system.

Virginia is also launching a new call center for those who prefer to pre-register by phone. The call center is open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and is staffed by 750 live operators who can answer questions about the vaccine and help with pre-registration.

The call center has English- and Spanish-speaking agents, as well as a call-back service in more than 100 other languages. TTY service is available to assist the deaf or hard of hearing. If wait times are long, Virginians can choose to get a call back and avoid having to stay on hold.

Call volume is expected to be very high during the first week of operation.

To complete pre-registration, applicants will be asked to provide some basic information to determine their eligibility. Social security numbers and immigration status will not be requested.

Anyone who pre-registers will receive a pre-registration confirmation and a reference code that can be used to verify their status on the wait list. Individuals can also specify whether they prefer to be contacted by phone, text or email.

Pre-registration gives Virginians the opportunity to get updates about vaccine availability and to make an appointment when vaccine supply allows; it does not provide immediate access to a vaccine.

When a registrant becomes eligible, their local health department will provide them with instructions on how to schedule a vaccine appointment.

More than 12 percent of Virginia’s population has now received at least one dose of the vaccine. Across the country, demand for the vaccine far exceeds supply, and it is expected to take several months to reach all individuals who want to be vaccinated.

The Commonwealth is prioritizing individuals who are most at risk of contracting COVID-19 and those who work in certain critical industries, based on public health guidelines from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Virginians who qualify for Groups 1A and 1B are currently eligible. This includes health care personnel, residents and staff of long-term care facilities, people age 65 and older, frontline essential workers, those living and working in homeless shelters and correctional facilities, and individuals with underlying medical conditions or disabilities that increase their risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

For the latest information on COVID-19 vaccinations in Virginia, visit vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine.

 

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