The Virginia Department of Health has launched a centralized preregistration system for COVID-19 vaccinations but warned that with millions of people expected to visit the site on Tuesday, delays and problems might occur.
The department said in a news release that its information technology team would continue to address back-end components, and that anyone who cannot get through to vaccinate.virginia.gov should try again.
A hotline number for people who cannot use computers will be announced by Gov. Ralph Northam on Wednesday.
Dr. Cynthia Morrow, director of the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts, said that the districts had to use their old system Monday night to send out email invitations for Wednesday’s vaccination clinic for people 65 and older.
With the new centralized system, which will eliminate duplicates and will mark when someone has been vaccinated, Morrow said they will be able to strategically send out emails to people 75 and older, as they are the priority, and to those who live in underserved areas.
She didn’t know whether the links would still be sharable but said the state is working on that problem. People had been sharing the emails with friends and family and on social media, which allowed some people to skip the line.
Morrow said that anyone can preregister, even if they are not in Phase 1a or Phase 1b, which covers health care workers, some essential workers, the elderly and younger adults with illnesses that place them at higher risk of poor outcomes from COVID.
The preregistration form asks people about their age, their occupations and volunteer work, and their health conditions — all of which can help to sort people into the right phase and priority group within the phase.