HOUSTON – Galveston County and local health partners announced Wednesday a new online waitlist application for those seeking to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Appointments are currently available for high-risk individuals who meet the criteria in Phase 1A and 1B. You do not have to be a resident of Galveston County or a UTMB patient to sign up for the waitlist, officials said.
The waitlist will begin accepting applicants on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
Go to utmbhealth.com/vaccine to register for the waitlist.
“This will be the single portal for people to come on and get in line to get their vaccine.” Dr. Philip Keiser, the Galveston County Local Health Authority said. “There’s a very big need to do this because as you can see, not just for us, but all across the whole region as soon as any appointments open up they go away really quickly.”
Officials said applicants will be asked to create an account and answer a few health questions, which will be used by medical professionals to make sure those most at risk of being hospitalized from COVID-19 will get an opportunity to schedule an appointment as vaccine supplies become available.
The waitlist will be based on the level of risk and people will be able to register for the waitlist on an ongoing basis, officials said.
Once a person is eligible to receive the vaccine based on his or her level of risk, they will receive an email alerting them to schedule an appointment. Within the notification, there will be a link to the website where they can schedule an appointment. The scheduling link will only be valid for 24 hours, officials said.
A separate email address is needed for each person interested in joining the waitlist.
For those who may not have internet access or a working email address, a phone bank can assist them with the waitlist registration process. They will be asked to provide an email and cell phone number for a relative or close friend to ensure they receive scheduling notifications.
The phone bank can be reached at 877-389-2318.
Health officials said the process will help them to prioritize those at higher risk.
”If you sign up, that doesn’t mean that you’re going to get vaccinated next week. What it means is that we know who you are and we’re going to get to you as soon as we can,” said Keiser.
Galveston County, UTMB Health and the Galveston County Health District continue to follow Texas Department of State Health Services eligibility requirements and are only vaccinating those that fall under Phase 1A, health care workers, and Phase 1B, those 65 and older or 16 and older with certain medical conditions.
County leaders believe the on-line vaccine waitlist will help simplify the process to get people vaccinated.
”Once we get people on this list we’ll know what the demand is and we’ll know who those people are so that we can better plan as we get more doses of the vaccine,” said Keiser.