Both Pinellas and Hillsborough counties are facing technical difficulties amid the opening of their respective vaccine registration sites on Monday morning for those 65 and older looking to set up appointments.
As of Monday afternoon, there have been reports of a fake Eventbrite account posing as a way to register for the COVID-19 vaccination, according to Pinellas County Health Department. Registration for a vaccination appointment is free and can only be done through the county site or by calling 727-824-6900.
The counties require seniors looking to get vaccinated to register for an appointment, either online or via telephone. But, due to the high volume of calls and site visits, phone lines are clogged and sites are crashing.
Hillsborough County’s site and phone line opened for residents at 9 a.m. Monday morning. Pinellas County’s opened at noon. Within minutes of each’s opening, both methods were overwhelmed, and so far remain difficult to access.
While Hillsborough County’s Health Department says appointments are still available, the site remains inaccessible. The county is working to mitigate the problems, it said in a tweet.
However, Hillsborough County did announce earlier this morning that they will be able to provide more vaccines this week than previously anticipated.
The county originally set aside 1,500 doses to be distributed at four vaccination sites for seniors across the county, starting Wednesday. Now, from a transfer of 3,000 doses from Tampa General Hospital, as well as additional doses expected to arrive from the state this week, Hillsborough will be providing a total of 9,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to residents age 65 and older.
In Pinellas County, plans to start administering vaccines to those 65 and older will start on Tuesday, as announced last week.
So far, Hillsborough County has vaccinated 14,893 people and Pinellas has vaccinated 14,947, according to state records.
Both counties are continuing to see high COVID-19 case numbers.
Pinellas County confirmed 552 new cases of COVID-19 in Saturday’s report, which covers last Friday, bringing its overall caseload to 46,860. The county currently has a death toll of 1,066.