NewsLocal NewsCoronavirus


Palm Beach, Indian River counties not taking part in statewide vaccine registration

'Appointments are not available in Palm Beach County,' health department says
Dr. Alina Alonso provides coronavirus data, Jan. 19, 2021
Posted at 4:28 PM, Jan 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-29 23:53:39-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Just hours after a new statewide COVID-19 vaccine appointment system went online Friday, Palm Beach County and Indian River County are not taking part in the program.

Martin County, however, will be among the counties using the system to pre-register for vaccine appointments. WPTV hasn't received word from St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties on their plans.

Florida residents who are 65 and older, health care personnel with direct patient contact, long-term care facility residents and staff, and those deemed to be "extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 by hospital providers" can register for COVID-19 vaccine appointments by clicking here.

However, the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County said late Friday afternoon it's not opting into the program yet, adding that "appointments are not available in Palm Beach County for those registering in this system."

Palm Beach County residents can still use the system to register. However, officials said residents will have to get vaccinated in another county.

"We do not want to create another wait list," Palm Beach County health director Dr. Alina Alonso said in a written statement. "Our primary focus is completing our original chd50feedback emailed wait list through the Health Care District of Palm Beach County. We prefer that the public wait until we can give them actual appointments."

RELATED: Florida to allocate portion of COVID-19 vaccines for western Palm Beach County communities

Alonso said earlier this week that on Tuesday, the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County will no longer receive first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from the state.

Instead, Publix will be the primary distributor of the vaccine in Palm Beach County.

For the latest information about the COVID-19 vaccine in Palm Beach County, click here.

In Indian River County, Stacy Brock said her county is "opting out of the statewide system."

For registration, the county plans to use the Everbridge system, which already uses to send out emergency alerts, to implement a wait list. The county has done injections at the Indian River Fairgrounds using an earlier system.

During the state preregistration process, residents will fill out their contact information and select their county.

Residents will be notified by phone call, text message or email once an appointment is available in the area. Officials said appointments will be given on a first-come, first-served basis, depending on when a person registers.

"Vaccine supply remains limited and appointments may not be available for several weeks in some counties," the Florida Department of Health said in a statement Friday.

For residents who don't have Internet access, every county in Florida has a designated phone number to call and register.

Residents can find a list of each county's preregistration phone number by clicking here.

Earlier this month, Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees announced that only Florida residents will be allowed to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in the Sunshine State.