Some Central Florida counties are not using new statewide vaccine registration system

Orange, Seminole, Volusia, Flagler and more using old reservation systems for appointments

Some Central Florida counties are not using new statewide vaccine registration system
Some Central Florida counties are not using new statewide vaccine registration system

After what was a rocky rollout for Florida’s new statewide vaccine appointment registration system, several counties have decided to opt out of using the new system to book appointments for now.

The state rolled out its new website on Friday.

Myvaccine.fl.gov allows Florida full and part-time residents to register for the coveted vaccine shots in all 67 counties, placing them in a virtual queue until more doses are available in their area. However, many counties said they weren’t prepared for the new system and that the “switch over” from a county’s individual registration systems to the state’s new list isn’t going to happen quickly.

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“We were a little bit surprised. We are not set up on the system yet,” said Kate Sark, Volusia County spokesperson. “The county is working with the state to get set up with that system but as of right now we are not using that lists for our event.”

Because of that reason, several Central Florida counties, including Seminole, Orange, Volusia, Flagler and Marion Counties are still booking appointments through their current reservation systems.

“I thinks that’s where the frustration came from our residents, they are able to sign up for this list and we are telling them we aren’t using it right now,” Sark added.

Florida Division of Emergency Management press secretary Samantha Bequer said it’s up to an individual if they choose to provide their information at Myvaccine.fl.gov.

“If a county has a system in place and decides to use the statewide system, the state will work with them to merge existing waitlists. In counties where they have opted in to the system, eligible individuals will be contacted to schedule an appointment when they’re available in the area through the state system,” Bequer said via email. “The state has been working closely with counties to ensure existing registration systems can coordinate with the statewide system.”

Once a county opts in to the state system they will be provided resources to use it, Bequer said. The Florida Division of Emergency Management is hosting trainings for the platform.

Here’s a breakdown on how your county is booking appointments right now. This is subject to change as the state fixes the issues with the rollout within the next couple of weeks.

Central Florida counties that have not switched to the statewide system.

VOLUSIA COUNTY

Last Friday, the state announced a statewide preregistration system for COVID-19 vaccinations. While the myvaccine.fl.gov site offers preregistration for all 67 Florida counties, only a handful are currently using this system. The announcement was made before the state was able to set up many counties, including Volusia, on the new platform.

Volusia County has requested access to the platform, but is dependent on the state to facilitate that setup. Transitioning to the platform is not an immediate process and requires changes to both the registration process and on-site operations. We recognize the state’s announcement has created frustration and ask for the publics’ patience as the county awaits the state’s next steps in working with Volusia County to roll out this new platform.

Additionally, feedback from counties currently using the system is mixed, and we want to ensure that when the change is made, the process is the most convenient and efficient option for residents. Residents may preregister at myvaccine.fl.gov for future use. However, the preregistration list will not be used for this week’s vaccine events. To secure an appointment for a vaccine Feb. 4 or 5, individuals must visit www.countyofvolusia.eventbrite.com or call the Citizens Information Center at 866-345-0345 at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3, when reservations open.

SEMINOLE COUNTY

Seminole County is still reviewing the State’s COVID-19 Vaccination registration system. As feedback from other counties has been mixed, Seminole County has elected to not add additional stress to our residents by going with a system that still has bugs. Once there are more counties utilizing the system and the system is working at peak efficiency, Seminole County will reconsider moving to the system.

Please DO NOT use the pre-registration portal and expect to be contacted when appointments are available. The State of Florida has not provided this data to the counties and Seminole County has no way to retrieve it.

Check out www.PrepareSeminole.org for more information on how to obtain a vaccine in Seminole County. As new vaccine shipments are received, appointments will be posted to the vaccine section each Tuesday.

Additionally, we ask any individual who has an appointment they do not plan to use, to please cancel their appointment. Cancelling unwanted appointments allows availability for those in need to schedule while also ensuring no vaccine doses are left unused.

FLAGLER COUNTY

“Unfortunately, we don’t have any details that we can share relating to the State’s appointment system. We expected to be brought up to speed early next week,” said Jonathan Lord, Flagler County’s Emergency Management Director in an email on Friday.

On Monday, a spokesperson from the Department of Health in Flagler County said they have orientation on the state’s new system on Tuesday.

“Flagler is not tapping into that immediately,” said Gretchen Smith. “We have 11,000 people on a call back list and we will be going through that list first.”

MARION COUNTY

Marion County was one of the first counties to try the state’s new rollout but after some unspecified issues with the vendor, Marion County is now back to using its old registration system as well.

“We rolled out a new appointment scheduling system on Thursday with a vendor with the purpose and intent of scheduling our appointments from our current registration list. The intent of the new call system was for it to be an easier scheduling system for residents and the department alike. However, the services did not meet the needs of our community. We are going to continue to work with this vendor to address our concerns and will bring them online when these are fixed,” said Christy Jergens, spokesperson with the Department of Health in Marion County

ORANGE COUNTY

The Orange County Convention Center vaccine site will continue to use the same vaccine portal it has now used to vaccinate thousands of people in the past three weeks.

“My understanding that the state wants to first get it right so they are rolling it out with some South Florida counties initially before it becomes available to all 67 counties. And so until that time occurs, we will continue with the process that we’ve used here,” Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said about the state appointment number.

The Florida Department of Health’s health officer for Orange County, Dr. Raul Pino, said the state has contracted with a different contractor to set up appointments. Orange County has been using CDR MaGuire’s platform CDR HealthPro to streamline the registration process and plans to continue to use the platform.

Pino said the county will wait and see if the state’s system can “work the kinks” out before using it. He said likely other municipalities will go through the same pains Orange County did when rolling out a new system and “we don’t want to do it twice,” Pino said.

The best way to get a vaccine appointment in Orange County is by registering at OCFL.net/vaccines. Residents can also sign up for email updates to learn about appointments or by receive updates by texting OCFLCOVID to 888777.

The following counties have opted to use the new website and system.

OCSEOLA COUNTY

The Florida Department of Health in Osceola County (FDOH-Osceola) and the Osceola County Office of Emergency Management encourage Florida residents to pre-register for a COVID-19 vaccination by visiting myvaccine.fl.gov. Currently, vaccine supply is extremely limited and the website lets residents save their place in line and be notified when new appointments are available in their area. Those without computer access may call 866-201-6507 (or 833-476-1516 for TTY users) to pre-register.

BREVARD COUNTY

A statewide pre-registration system to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments for individuals 65 and older and frontline health care workers is now available for Brevard County residents.

Individuals can pre-register for vaccine appointments and be notified when appointments are available in their area by visiting myvaccine.fl.gov or by calling 866-201-5420 or TTY (TeleTypewriter) 833-476-1525.

“Brevard County residents have been asking for this type of appointment system,” said Brevard County spokesman Don Walker. “It’s our hope that, as we continue to get vaccine allotments from the state, the preregistration system will ultimately lead to more shots in arms and in a more organized, expedient fashion.”

LAKE COUNTY

The Lake Square Mall immunization site is available by appointment only. Residents may preregister for an appointment online at myvaccine.fl.gov or by phone at 866-201-6909 (or 833-476-1031 for TTY users).


About the Author:

Nadeen Yanes joined News 6 as a general assignment reporter in 2016. She grew up in Leesburg and graduated from the University of Florida. Nadeen has won three Associated Press Awards for her reporting on the Pulse Nightclub shooting, the trial of the Pulse gunman's wife and the capture of an accused cop killer, Markeith Loyd.