HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Many people are wondering when they’ll be eligible for the COVID vaccine, and how to sign up. Unlike some other states, Pennsylvania does not currently have a centralized online portal to register.
The state Department of Health has a map of vaccine providers on its website. To schedule an appointment, interested individuals should directly contact a provider in their region if qualified under phase 1A of the state’s COVID vaccination plan.
The department says it’s in the process of adding a feature where patients can add themselves to an information list, but says it doesn’t have the funding for dedicated vaccine communication but is working to improve that. It’s something Higher Information Group, which works in website development, says is essential.
“If you have enough resources, you have enough people, you have enough cooperation from everybody that’s involved in the project, it can move a lot faster,” said Jason Verdelli, Senior Director of Marketing, Higher Information Group.
Other states, like New Jersey, have rolled out a website for residents to pre-register for a COVID-19 vaccine. How long could it take to get something like that here in Pennsylvania?
“Looking at it from an overall project perspective, something like this could take a few months, it could take a year,” said Verdelli.
Verdelli says it depends on a number of different factors.
“Collaboration that they have maybe with counties, how they plan the project, is going to be another factor that goes into it. The integrity of the data that already exists,” Verdelli said.
3.5 million Pennsylvanians are currently eligible for the COVID vaccine. Lebanon County, which rolled out an online portal for people to register, had to scale it back, because of the expanded number of people now eligible under phase 1A.
Their website is now only for first responders and essential workers to register. Everyone else is referred to the state Department of Health’s website.
abc27 News reached out to the state Department of Health about when we could see a centralized online portal but did not hear back in time for air.