A North Texas couple said they’re still waiting for a corrected email from Tarrant County’s Public Health Department regarding their COVID-19 vaccine registration weeks after thousands experienced a glitch in the system.
Rosanne Enmon of Hurst and her husband, Vernon, both belong to the 1B category for vaccinations and signed up for their shots on Jan. 11.
The registration process itself was easy, Enmon said.
They received their confirmation emails and were instructed to look for more information from Tarrant County Public Health on the next steps. Like thousands of people who signed up through the county, the Enmon’s received an email on Jan. 25 which was initially supposed to launch the county’s new system allowing people to check their vaccine registration status.
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Want to Get on a Vaccine Waitlist?
County health departments have launched waitlists for adults 16 years old and over.
You can register to recieve the vaccination in Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties. Links are below:
You do not need to be a resident of the county to register for a COVID-19 vaccine in that county -- registration is open to anyone in Texas. For those without internet access, Tarrant County is also taking registrations by phone at 817-248-6299. In Dallas County, call the DCHHS vaccine hotline at 1-855-IMMUNE9 (1-855-466-8639). In Denton County, call 940-349-2585.
For a more detailed breakdown of who is included in each priority group in Texas, see this page from the Texas DSHS.
Instead, they received a cryptic email and expected to receive a follow-up email with an actual registration number that they could use to check their statuses.
However, Enmon said the last they heard from the county was Jan. 25.
“It’s kind of frustrating not knowing or hearing anything. I understand there are thousands of people probably in the same situation,” she said Tuesday. “I thought it would go a little faster. I know shots weren’t available, but we’re getting more and more now. Hopefully, it will speed the process.”
Vinny Taneja, director of Tarrant County Public Health, said he has heard this feedback recently but people should have received corrected emails by now.
“In our view, we’ve sent it out to everybody. The proof is in the pudding. We’ve got over 200,000 people who checked their status online so seemingly, a lot of people got their registration email,” Taneja said. “What we’ve done is, since the system was glitching… we’ve gone and done small batches all the way up until January 6 and in fact, we’ve overlapped.”
NBC 5 asked what people like the Enmon’s should do if they have not received their status emails. Taneja said a common issue is the email is sent to spam or junk folders, which have not been checked.
“Secondly, we do have the hotline available for people to call and check on the status. We were trying to resolve the call volume and they can do the status check on their own. The third thing is there’s an email that we’ve put on the website. It’s email@example.com. If you don’t have your registration ID, email that address,” he said.
However, emailed responses are not something he said can be promised within the same day.
“The volume to that email is too high also but we’re trying to work through that as fast we can,” he said. “If we missed a few folks, we’re sorry but they need to check in the spam folder and we’re trying to upgrade the feature, so this is not an ongoing issue.”
Taneja said the upgrade does not have a timeline yet, but it could include checking statuses online using a name and unique information such as birthdate or ZIP-code.
The Enmon’s tell NBC 5, there is nothing in their spam folders. For now, they will continue trying to get through on the hotline and email but are asking for better communication.
“We’ve got grandkids and great-grandkids. I’m sure other people do also, but I don’t want to go around anyone basically until I’m vaccinated,” Vernon said. “The sooner I can get the vaccination, the better. No doubt about it.”
Tarrant County’s COVID-19 hotline is 817-248-6299. For more information, click here.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.