RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC/WFXR) — Virginians still hoping to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine are now able to do so through a new statewide pre-registration system that opened Tuesday morning.
Late last week, local health departments were directed to close their pre-registration portals in preparation for the launch. Over the weekend, pre-registration signs up were unavailable as existing waiting lists were imported into the new system.
The new statewide registration website allows Virginians to pre-register online, check that they are pre-registered, and access additional information on the state’s vaccination roll-out.
“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. Anyone who cannot get through immediately should try again,” the VDH said in a release on Tuesday, Feb. 16.
Health experts hope this new system will bring some consistency to the sign-up process. So far, registration was handled by local health districts and each had their own process.
Anyone who previously filled out a survey or form through their local health district will be automatically imported into the new system. Your current status in the queue will also be carried over into the Commonwealth’s system.
However, due to technological limitations, Virginians who are getting the COVID-19 vaccine through CVS Pharmacy must continue to register for appointments on the pharmacy’s website.
In addition, people who live in Fairfax County should pre-register for vaccinations on the Fairfax County Health Department website.
All of Virginia is currently in Phase 1b with ongoing efforts to vaccinate people in Phase 1a.
Dr. Danny Avula, the state’s vaccine coordinator has said about half of Virginia residents qualify under Phase 1a and 1b, and it could be until March or April until Virginia meets the demand to vaccinate those two groups.
“Virginia has vaccinated over 12% of the population with at least one dose. 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,” the VDH said in Tuesday’s statement. “Virginia is prioritizing people who qualify for Phase 1B: people age 65 and older; frontline essential workers; those living and working in homeless shelters, correctional facilities, and migrant labor camps; and individuals with high-risk medical conditions.”
CLICK HERE to pre-register for a COVID-19 vaccine in Virginia. VDH will also launch a hotline number on Wednesday, Feb. 17 to help people pre-register.
Health officials say Gov. Ralph Northam is set to provide more information about the hotline, as well as the new online tools, during a news conference on Wednesday.