By Taylor Boyd
An estimated 15,000 people registered to get the COVID-19 vaccine between the online and paper forms since registration opened on Monday, Jan. 25, Nancy Bell, public information officer for the West Piedmont Health District (WPHD), said.
“We didn’t know what to expect, but we knew interest in receiving the vaccine was high, especially among the 65 plus population,” Bell said, and added that those who registered should wait until they are contacted to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Registration puts you in the cue for an appointment. A nurse will call, and the vaccination may be given by the health department, one of our hospital partners, or a physician’s office,” she said.
Bell advised residents to get vaccinated in the locality in which they live, and to accept the earliest appointment available, “whether that is a pharmacy, physician’s office, or a health department vaccination event. Folks should not call the hospitals and health departments. An abundance of calls is impacting our ability to perform our regular jobs on high call volume days.”
Health officials in the district are administering vaccines as fast as possible, according to Bell.
“We didn’t get any vaccines one week,” she said, adding that the dashboard on the state website is misleading because “all the vaccinations that Carillon did for us were lumped into the Roanoke database. So, we are working, we are vaccinating teachers right now, we’re doing a lot of things behind the scenes.”
A coalition of hospital, physician, emergency service, and health department partners “currently are working on mass vaccination plans, given ample supply of vaccine and, capacity to hold a large community vaccination event exists,” she said, adding those who have registered will be among the first invited to attend.