APH says phone number listed to pre-register for COVID-19 vaccine intended for those without internet


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Every day, Texans in Phase 1B fight to get the vaccine in a world with limited doses. Austin Public Health says it has vaccinated 3,500 people out of the 12,000 doses it received this week.

There are still thousands on the waiting list to receive the vaccine and several others stuck in the pre-registration process.

“It says for English, press 1, and then for English, press 1, and then it just hangs up,” said Teresa Davies.

Davies has tried using multiple devices in hopes that she’ll secure a vaccine slot within a 100-mile radius of her. She’s constantly refreshing webpages.

“Oftentimes it would knock me out, and then I’d have to start over again,” said Davies. “Then I call, because it says if you need assistance getting an appointment, then call the number. It’s (512) 972-5560. I call that number. I must have tried 60 times, and I got a busy signal.”

APH says that’s a nursing hotline specifically designed for people who don’t have internet access.

“There are some people out there in the age range of 1B recipients who I think are underserved by Austin Public Health,” said a KXAN viewer.

This KXAN viewer is talking about his 75-year-old neighbor who isn’t tech savvy, but does have internet access. People who have internet access who are having technical difficulties or questions should first check the Frequently Asked Questions on APH’s website. If you still have questions after that, an APH spokesperson said to call Austin 311.

Davies argues the online signup portal isn’t exactly user friendly either.

“Why are they just putting up a list of appointments that are already filled up. When you book an appointment with your doctor, they usually just tell you when they are available,” said Davies.

APH says individuals who pre-register online will be contacted via email when they are qualified to receive a vaccine and when there are more vaccines available, and those who register over the phone will be contacted by phone.

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