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Collier County hopes to be part of statewide vaccine pre-registration system soon

The delays in the coronavirus vaccines are not the only thing frustrating many. It’s also the process of scheduling appointments for first and second doses. A Southwest Florida county is still not part of the state’s latest initiative.

The State’s COVID-19 vaccine pre-registration website is supposed to help get people signed up, but Collier County has not been added to it yet, and people want to know when that will happen.

The short answer: The State is working on it.

People who meet the criteria can pre-register on the State website, but for now, the Florida Department of Health in Collier County is still booking its appointments through Eventbrite. So anyone who registers through Collier County on the State website is not expected to receive a call for a first or second dose right now.

“They can’t get an appointment,” Carole McAdam said.

The need is great.

”My husband needs surgery, and he didn’t want to have it until he gets the vaccine,” Margarete Agnello said.

But DOH-Collier says the vaccine supply is lacking.

“The Florida Department of Health in Collier County has not received our first dose vaccine allocation for this week,” said Kristine Hollingsworth, a DOH-Collier spokesperson.

“This is due to 70% of the nation being under snow ice or rain,” Hollingsworth said. “We did however receive our second doses, and second doses will be administered this week.”

With the demand what it is, many are beyond frustrated with Collier County’s current process of booking appointments through Eventbrite.

“Every time they came on to register, we got knocked off and didn’t get any,” Carole McAdam said.

In Commissioner Penny Taylor’s newsletter that went out Tuesday, she acknowledged the current situation in Collier County.

In the newsletter, she explains Collier was not part of the statewide system that was launched with eight pilot counties that were without a system in place, and said the County is working with its system representative to ensure a smooth transition moving forward.

The letter also said the County will use myvaccine.fl.gov for COVID-19 vaccine pre-registration once the transition is complete, and Taylor said she and the County hope that happens in the coming weeks.

Hollingsworth says DOH-Collier can’t switch to the new registration fast enough for those vying for the vaccine.

“If you do want to register on that site, you may because it is keeping a waitlist,” She explained. “So once we do transition over, we will be able to utilize that waitlist and transition over from there.”

MORE: Latest COVID-19 vaccine schedules and resources

Reporter:Gina Tomlinson
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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