Local vaccine pre-registration to close Friday as Virginia builds centralized system

New system expected to be up Tuesday morning

Local vaccine pre-registration to close Friday as Virginia builds centralized system
Pediatricians across Virginia are reporting a decline in vaccination rates as the COVID-19 pandemic continues — a worrying trend that many fear will lead to future outbreaks. (Source: pixabay)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Virginians looking to register for a COVID-19 vaccine may have to wait until next week as the state creates a centralized system.

Starting Friday evening, all local health districts will close their pre-registration forms at the direction of the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

“What you’re doing when you pre-register is you’re getting in line for an upcoming event,” said Dr. Danny Avula, the State Vaccine Coordinator.

To get that statewide system up and running, VDH directed all local health districts to close their pre-registration forms and surveys at 5 p.m. Friday. Dr. Avula said it should not create major concerns for citizens.

“Whether you enter your name on Friday or enter your name on Tuesday, there’s unfortunately still thousands of people ahead of you; that’s the reality of where we are right now with supply,” he said.

Currently, Virginia is receiving roughly 130,000 first doses per week, Avula said during a tele-briefing Friday afternoon.

By 8 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16, the plan is for local health districts to replace those forms with the new statewide pre-registration form.

“It will be a standard form across the state, but this is actually one of the most important and most valuable upgrades of having this standardized consistent form, is there will be a confirmation on the screen when you actually put your information on the form,” Avula said.

Beyond that, Virginians will receive weekly reminders letting them know they are still in line.

“Then you’re also able to go at any time and do a status check and make sure you’re still in line,” Avula added. “You’ll get a reference number that allows you to do that.”

The website has not yet been released by the state, but in the meantime the pre-registration will be temporarily unavailable across the Commonwealth.

“All individuals who have previously filled out a survey or form or signed up for a waitlist to be vaccinated through their local health district will be automatically imported into the new statewide system,” officials said in a statement.

“Each health district will keep their particular list,” Avula said. “While it will be on a new platform, they will still be managing their local list.”

During the weekend, VDH stated efforts will be made to de-duplicate, clean, and consolidate the data from the local health district systems.

“In addition, data from the Virginia Immunization Information System will be used to remove individuals from the pre-registration list who have already been vaccinated,” a news release said.

While this is a statewide system, Avula acknowledged Fairfax County will not be participating at this time, rather, moving forward with its own system.

Meanwhile, the new centralized vaccine call center is also expected to launch sometime next week.

Avula said Gov. Ralph Northam is expected to announce more details on that effort at his next news conference.

This is a developing story - we will have more information as it is released.

Find more information from the state here.

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