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COVID vaccine hotline established, NRV sees vaccination sign-up confusion

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 5:54 PM EST
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NEW RIVER VALLEY, Va. (WDBJ) - The New River Valley Health District is moving rapidly though vaccinations, but there was a mix-up in the pre-registration process, causing confusion on who can sign up for a vaccination.

A Sign Up Genius link was going around in the New River Valley, giving people the impression they could sign up for a vaccination—if they were not in Phase 1B.

“Other people started sharing sign-up links hoping to get their friends and neighbors in,“ said Dr. Noelle Bissell, the director of the New River Valley Health District.

It turns out, the link was not for the public. The link was taken down Tuesday. Health officials say no one can sign up for a vaccination like that.

“Other sources of information, even if it is an email or a shared link from a well-meaning friend, they are not going to be the most up to date or they can have incorrect information,” said Dr. Bissell.

The health district says as a result, there were a few people who did try to show up to get vaccinated without an appointment.

“Without a proper understanding of a process and that ultimately ends up impeding things,” said Dr. Bissell.

Dr. Bissell says sharing this kind of misinformation slows the vaccination process down and causes confusion.

“Please do not show up at a vaccination clinic without an appointment through the employer or through a phone call from us directly,” said Dr. Bissell.

Bissell says their largest vaccination site can see around one thousand people a day, but it only works if everyone follows the process.

“We’ve established an essential information source of the new River Valley at the NRV Road to Wellness website; I didn’t really want to encourage people to use that for the most up-to-date information,” said Dr. Bissell.

The health districts ask for patience and flexibility because things are changing rapidly.

To help people understand the vaccination process, the district has a way you can learn more.

There is a new hotline specifically for vaccination questions. The hotline is available for vaccine questions, and for anyone who wishes to pre-register for a vaccine under Phase 1B, in addition to those in Phase 1A who may have not yet received the vaccine.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center number is 540-838-8222 (VACC).

Residents also may register online at www.NRVRoadtoWellness.com. If you are not eligible under Phase 1B please do not pre-register, by phone or online, as that may delay or prevent others from receiving the vaccine.

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