Chesterfield hopes this COVID-19 vaccine rollout change eases your mind

Posted at 4:09 PM, Feb 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 17:42:06-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Chesterfield County and the Chesterfield Health District announced an agreement Thursday that officials hoped would address one of the biggest COVID-19 vaccine rollout complaints they have received. That complaint is from people who've signed up with the health district indicating they want the vaccine -- but never heard back until it was their turn to get the shot.

The county's IT teams got access to the district's COVID-19 vaccine interest forms this week, according to Chesterfield County's Chief Information Officer for Information Systems Technology Barry Condrey.

The teams were able to sort them and provide technology and resources the district didn't have before.

"We want to give people that peace of mind," Condrey said.

The district is made up of Chesterfield County, Powhatan County, and the city of Colonial Heights.

"We collected about 100,000 records of contact information," Condrey shared.

Officials said they first got rid of duplicate forms -- which ended up being around a third of them.

"We have worked hard to ensure what the order that the data has come in, and the order in which the registrations have come in, has been maintained. So if you are number 10,500 on the list, that is your place in line," he said.

On Thursday, the county started to send email notifications letting people know they are on the list. Officials said they also had around 4,500 applications by phone. Those people will receive a recorded message.

County officials said they will continue to do this until a statewide sign-up and database was launched -- potentially as early as next week -- when the state system will take over.

In the meantime, Chesterfield Health District Director Dr. Alexander Samuel said this county system would help them better coordinate upcoming vaccination events -- currently done based on when someone has signed up. But, he said, the new state system will give them more flexibility to ensure the most at-risk in the current phases are given priority.

"There'll be much more ability to sort by condition and by age as well as multiple conditions," Dr. Samuel said. "So you know, again, putting people in terms of need in line will become a much easier capability."