More than 180,000 people are on the county’s waiting list for the COVID-19 vaccine.
In order to improve transparency, Fairfax County plans to launch a new queuing system that would provide information about vaccine registration status tomorrow.
At a Fairfax County Board of Supervisors meeting earlier this week, County Executive Bryan Hill said the system would be followed by a dashboard with real-time information about vaccine distribution.
The improvements come after Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust and Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn called on the county to move forward with the dashboard and queuing system through a formal board matter.
“They know that the county has information about where they are in the queue and that the county currently is not sharing that information with them. They believe the county should be more transparent. They want to know, and I believe they deserve to know, how many people are ahead of them to be called to be vaccinated,” Foust said at a board meeting on Feb. 9.
While the registration process is relatively smooth, Foust said that residents ought to know where they are in the registration line. Currently, the health department only sends a notification confirming registration.
As of Wednesday, 131,479 in Fairfax County have received the first dose of the vaccine and 31,421 people have been fully vaccinated.
Officials continue to caution that vaccine supply is extremely limited. Roughly 11 percent of the total population has been vaccinated with at least one dose.
The queuing system would confirm if registrants are in the queue, describe progress made so far, and inform registrants of where they are in the line.
The county also plans to launch a self-cancellation form if people receive a vaccine from another health care provider, as well as a registration validation form for residents to confirm their registration and see where they fall in the queue.
Hill said that his staff and the county’s health and IT departments began working on improving the process in early January, but the process was stalled by coordination with the Virginia Department of Health.
“A lot of our delay is predicated on working and talking with the state’s systems,” Hill said, adding that the state’s protocol is the ‘Bible for COVID vaccinations.“
Board Chairman Jeff McKay also noted that coordination with the state has been “frustrating” to the county’s efforts.
“It is not acceptable for someone to register for a vaccination and go an entire month with ought hearing potentially anything from the county,’ he said.
Through improvements to its system, the county determined that roughly 20,000 duplicate registrants on the waiting list. The county was able to weed out duplicates and trim down the waiting list to around 180,000 registrants.
Still, other board members lauded the county for developing a smooth administering system for vaccines.
Penny Gross noted that some residents who were frustrated with the registration process said the actual administration of the vaccine was easy and well-done.
The county’s vaccine dashboard will likely go live on Friday, but it could take up to Tuesday, Feb. 16 to iron out any issues, Hill said.