DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas County will soon have a different registration system in place for the COVID-19 vaccine to help streamline the process.

Commissioners called an emergency meeting Wednesday night, Jan. 27, to approve a new contract with a software company to overhaul the current setup.

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“This will make it go from a totally paper-based system where everyone is filling out forms to a totally paperless system,” said Philip Huang, Director of Dallas County Health and Human Services.

The new system should be in place next week, and the county hopes it will help them handle a higher volume of vaccinations as the supply increased.

Everyone who has already registered through the current system will automatically be included in the new one.

Commissioners also approved a contract for a vaccination registration call center, which will be staffed 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day of the week.

Another contract will go towards marketing efforts with a “strong focus on diverse populations affected by various public health matters such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.”

Tarrant County is also working on ways to increase communication with people on its vaccine waitlist.

“Just trying to make sure we confirm what’s our place in line and when we’re going to get an appointment,” said Vanessa Shimek, who signed her and her dad up for the shot through Tarrant County Public Health.

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TCPH launched a new online tool so residents could check their status, but a glitch caused thousands to receive a strange automated email with a jumble of numbers on Monday.

“It confused me because at first,” Shimek said.

Tarrant County is still working on sending corrected emails to those on the waitlist. The new system will ultimately help people confirm their registration.

“Instead of everyone calling us or checking on the website, let us send you your registration ID, and for one time let us give you your current status,” said TCPH Director Vinny Taneja.

Shimek is now considering getting her and her dad on Dallas County’s waitlist too in order to increase their odds.

“Don’t get discouraged,” she said. “It’s important that everybody gets the vaccine so we can go back to normal, so I’m just trying to stay hopeful.”


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Caroline Vandergriff