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Pinellas changes process to score coronavirus vaccine appointments

Pre-registered users will now be contacted as doses become available.
Pinellas County residents enter and exit the St. Petersburg Health Department on the first day of COVID-19 vaccine administering on Jan. 5. On Tuesday, Pinellas officials announced an improved system that will let people know by text or email when vaccine appointments become available.
Pinellas County residents enter and exit the St. Petersburg Health Department on the first day of COVID-19 vaccine administering on Jan. 5. On Tuesday, Pinellas officials announced an improved system that will let people know by text or email when vaccine appointments become available. [ BOYZELL HOSEY | TIMES | Times ]
Published Feb. 10, 2021

Florida seniors looking for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment through Pinellas County will no longer have to contend with a free-for-all rush to sign up when doses become available.

Instead, residents 65 and older who have already set up accounts through the online portal used by the county, patientportalfl.com, will receive a text or email notification as vaccine appointments become available, Pinellas County officials announced late Tuesday.

Rather than an open call, smaller groups of residents will be contacted based on the availability of supply, according to a news release from the county.

The county said residents will need to book appointments within 48 hours of receiving a notification; users will get only one notification and reminders will not be sent.

The county said there are approximately 60,000 residents already pre-registered in the system who have not yet scheduled an appointment.

Residents who have not yet pre-registered can still do so through the website or by calling 844-770-8548. The county suggests that users opt in to both text and email notifications.

This process is the one being used by the county; other vaccine providers, including Publix and Walmart, have their own appointment systems.

Related: Florida coronavirus vaccines to start at Walmart, Winn-Dixie, expand at Publix

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