NORFOLK, Va. – After some confusion at a vaccination site in the city that led to hundreds of people being turned away Thursday, the Norfolk Department of Public Health (NDPH) released guidelines on how residents can preregister for the COVID-19 vaccine.
The department is advising residents to follow the proper steps to get vaccinated at mass vaccination sites. Preregistration is currently available for Norfolk residents in the priority groups Phases 1a and 1b.
Health officials say preregistration online is the first step in securing an appointment for those eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. You can do that here.
When an appointment is available, you will receive a notification to schedule your COVID-19 vaccine. The health department says the preferred method to contact you will be by email, but if you do not have an email address you will be notified by phone.
If you are registering for your first dose, an email registration notification will come from the Virginia Department of Health email (ending in @vdh.virginia.gov). At this time, people who need to schedule their second dose appointment will receive an email notification from the Centers of Disease Control (CDC).
NPDH officials ask you do not forward registration emails, as they are intended for the recipient only. Use of a shared link will result in an appointment cancellation.
This comes after hundreds of people showed up to a vaccination clinic at Military Circle Mall Thursday and had to be turned away. The confusion happened when people used links that were forwarded to them to sign up for vaccine appointments. They got emails confirming their appointments but say they were turned away when they arrived for their scheduled slots.
"It was not appropriate for them to [forward the links]. The link kept getting shared, and more and more people were doing this," said Paul Brumund, the Chief Operations Officer for the Norfolk Department of Public Health.
If you need help submitting the preregistration form online, call 757-664-SHOT (7468). If you have preregistered by phone, you will receive a phone call from the Norfolk Department of Public Health to reserve your appointment.
Due to the large number of requests, it may take 4-8 weeks to receive a notification to schedule an appointment.
Vaccine supply is limited. NPDH says it receives 2,775 doses weekly from the state.
Vaccinations administered by the department are by appointment only. You are asked not to show up to the vaccination clinic without an appointment or you will be turned away.
In order to maintain social distancing for everyone’s protection and to limit crowding and long waits, you will not be allowed into the building until 5–10 minutes before your appointment time. If you arrive early, you are asked to please remain in your car.
If you have general COVID-19 vaccine questions, call the Norfolk COVID hotline at 757-683-2745.
If you need help filling out the preregistration form, call the Norfolk COVID vaccination center at 757-664-SHOT (7468).
Voicemails are returned within two business days. The department asks you be patient as officials work to meet the needs of each caller. They say calling multiple times and leaving multiple voice messages will not result in a faster call-back.
Updates to the registration information are being made on an ongoing basis.