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Pre-registration process is easy

For those who haven’t yet heard, there is now a way to get your name on a statewide waiting list to get your vaccine to be protected against COVID-19.

Virginians can use vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA to pre-register for the vaccine.

Registering through this website or phone number is easy. You will simply answer questions about your risk factors to catch COVID-19 and to get seriously ill from it, including your age, your race or ethnicity, your pre-existing health conditions, whether you live in a group setting, and whether you work in one of a number of occupations where workers are deemed more at risk. You will also be asked where you live and your contact information, so that you can be matched up with vaccination opportunities and informed of those opportunities.

Two things you won’t be asked for, according to the state — your Social Security number and your immigration status.

This pre-registration process, we hope, marks the end of the way the process has been going in Western Tidewater for about the last month or so, which frustrated residents and health department staff. This process was punctuated by busy tones, unanswered voice mails, and general frustration from everyone who was unable to get through or confused about the process.

We encourage everyone who is able to take the vaccine and has not yet had it to use this process to register. You will receive communication when it is your turn.

While you’re waiting for your turn, please remember that there are scammers out there trying to capitalize on your desire to be protected from COVID-19. Remember that you can’t pay to put your name on a list to get the vaccine, you can’t pay to get early access to the vaccine, and nobody will call about the vaccine and ask for any of your financial information. You should not have to pay out of pocket to get the vaccine. You can learn more at ftc.gov/coronavirus/scams.