Florida launches vaccine pre-registration website

Lack of supply still limits when appointments will become available

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In the latest attempt to organize the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, the state of Florida on Friday announced a new website where residents can pre-register for appointments and then be notified when they become available: myvaccine.fl.gov

The Florida Department of Health said Florida residents 65 and older and frontline healthcare workers can enter their information on that website and will be contacted when doses are available at state-run vaccination sites in their area. In Northeast Florida, the only site is currently at Regency Square in Jacksonville.

Residents who pre-register “will be contacted by phone call, text or email and will be assisted in scheduling an appointment,” the state said.

Jared Moskowitz, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, told state lawmakers this week that counties can pull names from the waiting list and contact residents when appointments become available.

“The hunting around and trying to find appointments as they come up doesn’t work,” he said. “So instead of people having to go and find appointments every single solitary day as they pop up, they will be in line and we’ll be able to communicate with them.”

The health department notes, however, that vaccine supply remains limited and appointments “may not be available for several weeks in some counties,” but the site will help the state give residents a more accurate timeline of when they can expect to get vaccinated.

“Based on the throughput, kind of tell them ... based on supply, where they sit, what the timeline could look like,” Moskowitz said.

Residents without internet access can still call their local health department.

Alachua County is not opting into the state vaccine preregistration system and urges its residents to call their scheduling number until the county health department’s new website is launched soon.

“Alachua County vaccination agencies are among the leaders in the state in vaccines per capita for our residents,” the county posted on Facebook on Friday. “There are multiple processes in place for vaccine appointments and delivery. Rather than start from scratch with a new state system, our agencies will continue to refine existing systems.”

Moskowitz said if someone does sign up on the state site for a county that has not opted in, those names will be turned over to the county.

“We can say, ‘Hey county, look. You’re not using our system, but there are 100,000 people in your county that signed up. They signed up in this order. Here’s that list.’ Again, your county can work off that list if you want to,” he said.

The state website is completely separate from the system on Publix.com to make vaccine appointments, which has also frustrated thousands of people who have gone online during registration windows only to never be let in to make an appointment.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said last week that the city vaccination sites at two senior centers had run out of first doses of the vaccine. Curry said anyone who received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at one of those locations can return to the same center 21 days after for their second dose, starting Monday.

The city has reserved enough vaccines to cover those second doses.

Second doses for those who received their first dose at the Prime Osborn Convention Center. You must return to the place where you got the first dose to ensure you get the same vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) and that there is adequate supply.

If you received your first dose at Prime Osborn and your appointment card was not stamped with a time/date to return for your second dose, or you lost the information you were given about a second dose appointment, the health department automatically makes your appointment for you. You should return 28 days later on the same day and time of your first dose appointment. For example, if your appointment for your first dose was at 9 a.m. Jan. 4, you would return at 9 a.m. Feb. 1 for your second dose.

For more information about where vaccines are available and how to sign up near you, visit our county-by-county vaccination page.

As of Friday morning, the state has given 1,332,746 first doses and 273,249 second doses since the first vaccine made it to the state in mid-December.

About the Authors: