Governor Ralph Northam announced on Wednesday that Virginians can pre-register for the COVID-19 vaccine either online at vaccinate.virginia.gov, or by calling 877-VAX-IN-VA. Northam’s announcement said that the Commonwealth’s new, centralized system allows individuals to easily pre-register for the free vaccine, confirm that they are on the waitlist, and learn more about Virginia’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 Governor 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. I thank everyone for staying patient and continuing to follow public health guidance so we can mitigate the spread of this dangerous virus.”
According to Northam, Virginia’s 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 previously pre-registered for the vaccine through their local health district do not need to sign up again, however many people who were pre-registered say they are unable to find any details on the website.
“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,” VDH said in a press release Tuesday.
Northam’s office provided an update on Wednesday saying that data migration will continue throughout the week and 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, from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. It is staffed by 750 live operators who can answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and help people get pre-registered. 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 people who are 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 your pre-registration, you will be asked to provide some basic information to determine your eligibility. You will not be asked for your social security number or your immigration status. Anyone who pre-registers will receive a pre-registration confirmation and a reference code that can be used to verify that you are still on the waitlist. 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 you become eligible, you will receive instructions from your local health department on how to schedule an appointment.
Virginians who qualify for Groups 1A and 1B are currently eligible for vaccinations. 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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