VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Critical information on the COVID vaccine is now only a phone call away for all Virginians.
On Wednesday, Gov. Ralph Northam alongside state health officials launched the new statewide COVID registration hotline as part of a larger push to make vaccination less complicated in the Commonwealth.
That number is 877-829-4682 or you can remember 877-VAX-IN-VA. Callers can get questions answered about the vaccination process, as well as pre-register for the vaccine itself. Your spot on the waitlist will still depend on which vaccination group you belong to, and Virginia is currently in "1B."
Virginians can call between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. seven days a week. 750 workers are staffing the call center, but Northam says more could be added to meet demand.
The centralized sign-up website launched Tuesday, in an effort to streamline the vaccination process across the Commonwealth and ease the burden on local health districts. It's intended for people who may be uncomfortable disseminating personal information online, would rather talk to someone in person, or for anyone who may have unreliable internet.
"If you can use the online form, please do so, and let our call center's workers help those who don't have internet access, or who are having trouble with the online form," Northam said.
There are both English and Spanish-speaking call operators there. You can leave a message and be called back to speak to an operator in one of 100 other languages.
"We’ve talked about equity and doing things as expeditiously as possible," Gov. Northam said.
More than 240,000 people signed up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine since the centralized website launched for Virginia, and the governor was one of them.
On Wednesday, he said the state is averaging 150 signups per minute, and during peak activity, the site hit roughly 300.
"We have heard you: you asked for a unified state-wide system where you can pre-register and get confirmation that it went through," Northam said. "Virginia is delivering."
The state's pre-registration site can be accessed at vaccinate.virginia.gov.