Above, a member of the San Marcos Fire Department administers a COVID-19 vaccine during a recent Hays County vaccine clinic on Jan. 25 at San Marcos High School. Photo courtesy of Hays County
Hays County announces COVID-19 vaccine pre-registration list
Hays County residents will now be able to pre-register for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine through a newly announced registry.
Residents can sign up to be placed on a waitlist at www.haysinformed.com/covid-19, rather than sign up for specific time slots. Pre-registration is open to the public as of Thursday.
“We are transitioning over to a more robust data management system which will allow citizens to pre-register for a vaccine dose when it becomes available,” Hays County Emergency Operations Director Mike Jones said. “This system allows individuals to take their time to pre-register and not feel rushed to ‘beat the crowd’ for an appointment.”
Above, Hays County opened its new COVID-19 vaccine pre-registration list on Thursday. Screenshot via haysinformed.com/covid-19
The new pre-registration system comes after the county’s first two online vaccine sign ups, which saw slots fill up in 30 minutes each time. During its second sign-up period on Jan. 29, Hays County residents were met with numerous user issues highlighted by a bottleneck caused by a rush of people attempting to access the website. County Judge Ruben Becerra said in a social media post Thursday that over 70,000 people from across the state attempted to sign up for the county’s 1,950 vaccines. As an established vaccine hub by the state, any Texan can sign up for a vaccine through the Hays County Health Department.
“I want to be very clear here, if we continue to receive vaccines at the current rate, it will take 36 weeks for us to vaccinate those 70,000 people,” Becerra said in a statement. “The vaccine shortage continues to affect our community. I have a strong desire to vaccinate our school district employees, frontline workers, and our vulnerable population whose lives are at a higher risk than most and who help keep our economy going.”
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, 14,699 Hays County residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while only 4,195 residents have been fully vaccinated as of Thursday. The DSHS estimates that Hays County has 162,285 residents who are 16 years or older.
Only those who qualify under the DSHS’s Phase 1A and 1B criteria groups, can sign up to be vaccinated. Information provided during the county’s pre-registration will be used to determine if an individual falls into any priority group for vaccination.
“Pre-registering does not guarantee you an appointment at the next vaccine clinic,” Becerra said. “It adds your name to a waiting list.”
Becerra added that the county will contact an 1,950 qualified candidates to receive the Pfizer vaccine on Monday, Feb. 8 and Tuesday, Feb. 9 in Wimberley.
Those who are not selected for next week’s vaccine clinics will remain on the list until they receive an appointment for a dose.
“We feel the frustration from the public about this vaccine rollout,” Hays County Local Health Department Director Tammy Crumley said. “Rest assured, the pre-registration list will allow us to more effectively distribute the small number of vaccine doses we receive.”
The county said it is working on implementing a phone-in system but the online pre-registration list is the only option at this time.
“I will continue to push for more vaccines, and I am hopeful that the new retail model put out by our federal government will bring more vaccines to our region soon,” Becerra said. “We appreciate the community’s continued patience during this excessively stressful time as we navigate through any unforeseen obstacles.”