LEWISBURG, WV (LOOTPRESS) – With the launch of a statewide registration system for the COVID-19 vaccine by West Virginia’s Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), the hotline previously established by the Greenbrier County Health Department in partnership with the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) has been closed.
Instead of using the Greenbrier County hotline, area residents who want to be placed on a waitlist to receive the vaccine should use the statewide system by calling 833-734-0965 or visiting vaccination.wv.gov.
Julian Levine, director of community engagement for WVSOM’s Center for Rural and Community Health (CRCH), said the statewide registration system took effect at 8 a.m. on Jan. 25.
“We stopped accepting voicemails on the hotline at 4 p.m., Jan. 22. We will attempt to call those who left voicemails before that time, and anybody our team contacted over the weekend was given the option of being put in the database we are providing to the state or adding themselves to the state system,” Levine said. “As of 8 a.m. Monday, we stopped adding callers to our database.”
The statewide COVID-19 vaccine registration system offers West Virginians the ability to preregister, receive real-time updates on vaccine availability and schedule an appointment to be vaccinated when supplies allow. Levine explained that the Greenbrier County hotline was closed because it is critical to route everyone who has not already registered to the statewide system.
“The state system is the single best place to register for a vaccine moving forward,” Levine said. “All local and regional health departments’ waitlists will be merged with the state system, which will allow for a better coordinated vaccine rollout. West Virginia already leads the nation in vaccine distribution, and the establishment of this system keeps us ahead of the curve nationally.”
Levine said that individuals who called the Greenbrier County hotline, spoke to a representative and had their information entered into the system will have their information merged into the state system. Those who called the Greenbrier County hotline but have not yet received a response should use the statewide system.
In a press release, DHHR Cabinet Secretary Bill Crouch said West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice called for a single system that could be used by all state residents.
“Gov. Justice tasked DHHR with figuring out a vaccination registration and scheduling tool for West Virginians to use. This new service allows West Virginians to directly enter their information into the computer, or with assistance from the vaccine info line, and will keep folks from having to call multiple times to our local health departments whose phone lines are already overwhelmed,” Crouch said in the release.
Additionally, Crouch has said that individuals who have already registered for the vaccine through a local source will retain their waitlist position. In media reports, Crouch said that those who have received confirmation of their waitlist status from an organization such as a local health department or rural health center should not register through the state system. “You will keep your priority,” Crouch was quoted as saying in media reports. “We will not bump anyone ahead of you.”
WVSOM’s CRCH will continue to partner with the Greenbrier County Health Department to schedule appointments when registrants are cleared through the state system.