KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — A new Knox County online, vaccine sign-up platform debuts Wednesday morning, the Knox County Health Department announced Tuesday.
Eligible people will be able to sign up through the health department's website, or by calling 311 or the Health Department at 865-215-5555.
Health Department Director Dr. Martha Buchanan said users will see a pop-up box on the website's main page for the sign-up.
As of 10:08 a.m. on Thursday, Feb.11, KCHD reported it had more than 6,600 people registered on the waitlist, and the call volume has gone up as expected.
People who can get a COVID-19 shot right now are those 70 and older or people who are first responders or in the health care profession. Be sure you qualify before signing up for the list.
Buchanan cautioned that there's high demand for limited vaccine. So, it'll take awhile for people who sign up to the new online platform to get the shot.
There are more than 52,000 Knox Countians who are age 70 and older, she said.
KCHD expects to see thousands of people sign up and appear on the waiting list.
It'll take time for the department to work its way through the list. People will be notified when their name is up.
"Depending on how long the list gets, there's a good chance you could be waiting for awhile," she said. "Please, we're asking for patience."
The public wait list won't be the only way to get a vaccine. Shots also are being made intermittently in the community through providers, hospitals and clinics.
You won't know where you are on the wait list as the department works its way through the list. You will be notified when your time is up, Buchanan said.
It's a living list that keeps growing.
"It won't fill up," Buchanan said.
Shots will continue to be available for qualified people at Health Department headquarters on Dameron Avenue. Experts also may hold some at "through-put" clinics such as at the Expo Center on Clinton Highway.
Also, KCHD is looking at using the old Food City grocery store in North Knoxville off Broadway as a vaccine center. The department also is considering concentrated vaccine distribution at places like churches, Buchanan said.
Entities identified as "community partners" are getting some vaccine allotments to hand out to qualified people. Buchanan declined to identify who those partners are to spare them being inundated with calls from the public.
According to KCHD, more than 287,000 Tennesseans are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.