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Hillsborough County rolls out new registration system to resume giving seniors COVID-19 vaccine this week



HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County is ready to resume vaccination of seniors aged 65 and over on Wednesday.

The health department has received another vaccination shipment containing 9,000 doses after administering the first round of COVID-19 vaccines to seniors last week.

Registration for vaccine appointments opens Tuesday with staggered times, after a hard start last week due to the website going down and phone lines going down.

The county later suspended its online registration site and asked residents to make appointments per. Telephone. It quickly ran out of slots for vaccine appointments.

“I was online all day Monday, oh, it was hours, maybe five or six hours,”

; said Angelia Valdez, who tried to get an appointment for two days before learning that all slots were full.

“If the purpose was chain speed to get the vaccine, where is the chain speed that gives the vaccine? Someone drops the ball somewhere, ”said Valdez, who contacted 8 On Your Side with his frustrations. She plans to try again Tuesday, but is worried it will go down again.

To avoid the same problems, Hillsborough County is changing how and when seniors can sign up.

To be vaccinated, residents aged 65 and over must make an appointment by calling (850) 848-5287 or visiting patientportalfl.com. The registration period begins on Tuesday, January 12 and ends when the slots have run out.

Seniors can only make an appointment within the specified time frame that is specific to their age group:

  • Residents aged 85 and over can book an appointment between 8 and at
  • Residents aged 75 to 84 can book an appointment between 11 and at
  • Residents aged 65 to 74 can book an appointment between 14 and 16
  • After kl. 17, any resident 65 years of age or older can reserve remaining slots while appointments remain available.

“If you do not meet these criteria, there is a reduction within this to help people overwhelm the system,” Timothy Dudley told Hillsborough County Emergency Management.

Dudley said the company is more prepared this time around to handle an influx of people trying to sign up.

“The call center, the salesperson, has a robust call center, which we trust they must be able to accommodate these calls, as well as the online system, must be able to accommodate the specified periods to make these appointments, said Dudley. But the county also asks people to be patient.

To make the process smoother, officials are also encouraging seniors to go to the online portal site right away and set up an online account so they are ready when their time slot opens.

The county officially began vaccinating seniors on Wednesday, January 6th. Four vaccine distribution sites were created: University Mall parking lot on East Fowler Avenue in Tampa, Vance Vogel Sports Complex on Bullfrog Creek Road in Gibsonton, Strawberry Festival Fairgrounds on West Risk Street in Plant City and Ed Radice Sports Complex on Ed Radice Drive in Tampa.

Only people with appointments are vaccinated on the sites.

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