DeKalb Board of Health pauses COVID-19 vaccination registration after more than 13,000 sign upDeKalb County Board of Health R.N. Grace Burton (r) administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Environmental Health Specialist Hannah Campbell at the T. O. Vinson Health Center Auditorium on Winn Way in Decatur on Dec. 31, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.
DeKalb County, GA — Within hours of the DeKalb County Board of Health opening registration for the COVID-19 vaccine, people began having problems signing up to get their shot.
Registration opened at noon on Friday, Jan. 8. The notification went out shortly before registrations opened.
One reader, who is 77, who contacted Decaturish on Jan. 9 forwarded on an email she received after she registered for the vaccine. The email indicated she had to be a healthcare worker to receive the vaccine. But that’s no longer the case. As part of Phase 1A+, in addition to healthcare workers, anyone 65 and older can get the vaccine, along with residents of long-term care facilities, law enforcement, firefighters and other first responders.
Eric Nickens, a spokesperson for the Board of Health, said the information in the email the reader received was an error.
“As of noon yesterday, appointments are no longer exclusive to frontline healthcare workers. Because of the unprecedented volume that we experienced yesterday, it is likely that volume prevented [email] updates from occurring properly,” NIckens said.
But he added that due to the volume of sign-ups, registration for vaccines has been temporarily suspended.
“With that said, as of 10 p.m. Friday night, the Board of Health has received over 13,000 registrations/appointment requests for our two vaccination sites,” Nickens said. “This has necessitated the need to temporarily suspend acceptance of new requests. Appointments at both sites (Doraville and Stonecrest) are completely filled through next Saturday.”
Nickens urged the public to be patient as vaccines are in high demand and supply is limited.
“Vaccines will be given by appointment only, based on vaccine availability. If there are no appointments available, that means we have exhausted our supply of the vaccine,” he said. “We will not release additional appointments until we have received more doses of vaccine, to ensure we can meet the demand. Until additional vaccine becomes available and allows for expansion to future phases, we ask for the public’s patience and understanding during this process. Please continue to check the DeKalb County Board of Health website and those of surrounding counties health departments for the availability of additional appointment slots. However, do not schedule appointments in more than one county, as this will slow the ability of others to be vaccinated.”
To visit the Board of Health website, click here.
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