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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Texas launches online COVID-19 registration system as scheduling frustrations mount

Posted By on Tue, Mar 30, 2021 at 12:20 PM

click to enlarge A woman receives her COVID-19 vaccination at the Alamodome. - COURTESY / CITY OF SAN ANTONIO
  • Courtesy / City of San Antonio
  • A woman receives her COVID-19 vaccination at the Alamodome.
After months of complaints about the scattershot availability of COVID-19 vaccines, Texas has launched an online registration system to help residents schedule appointments for their shots.

A new portal operated by the Texas Department of Health and Human Services will allow people needing vaccines to sign up for email or text notifications about the incoulations' local availability. A survey will ask enrollees about pre-existing conditions and potential COVID-19 exposure risks.



The site went live Monday as Texas expanded vaccine eligibility to anyone 16 or older.

The portal also arrives as residents express frustration about how difficult it is to schedule appointments since most vaccine providers — including those in the San Antonio area — are registering people using separate systems. San Antonio-area health officials have opted not to set up a centralized waiting list, something done in other large Texas cities.

Texas' launch of the online system comes more than three months after it began receiving vaccine shipments in mid-December. The state faced early criticism for its decentralized approach to distributing the shots.

Those without internet access can access TDHHS's list by calling (833) 832-7067. The call center will be available 7 a.m.-7 p.m. daily and have translators available.

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