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Delaware ends COVID-19 vaccination “waiting list”

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DPH, vaccination event at the Dover DMV. | PHOTO COURTESY DPH

DOVER  – With vaccinations and vaccine availability entering a new phase, the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) will close the COVID-19 vaccination wait list to new sign-ups on Friday, May 7, by 3:00 p.m., and instead will focus on providing the public with information about available vaccination opportunities throughout the state.

The wait list, which opened on Jan. 20, was a necessary and useful way or getting then-scarce vaccine to those who needed it most based on an assessment of age and health conditions. It allowed appointment invitations to be prioritized first among those 65 and over starting in January, then those 50 and over in March, and lastly those 16 and over in April as each new phase of eligibility opened.

From Jan. 20 to May 6 more than 200,000 individuals signed up on the wait list. Utilizing the list, DPH’s Office of Emergency Medical Services, which coordinated the drive-through and other large vaccination events, has administered almost 100,000 vaccinations. Curative, a state vaccinating partner operating at Delaware Technical Community College campuses, also used the wait list to send email invitations, and has administered more than 55,000 vaccines, with other types of opportunities being offered to wait list individuals as well.

Recent multiple communication of vaccination events to those remaining on the wait list have resulted in few appointments being made, indicating that those remaining likely have been vaccinated elsewhere.

“The wait list was a critical tool for allowing us to assess demand for vaccine and to match limited doses with those most at risk from COVID-19,” DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay said in a statement. “Now that we are in a situation of more plentiful vaccine and open eligibility, we no longer need to screen and prioritize invitations to appointments, and we can focus on letting people know the multiple ways they can get vaccinated with or without an appointment.”

Last week, DPH revamped de.gov/getmyvaccine to include appointment and walk-in information for pharmacies, medical providers, hospitals, Federally Qualified Health Centers, public health clinics, and Curative clinics. Individuals may also call the DPH Vaccine Call Center at 1-833-643-1715 (option 3) for assistance in locating vaccine.

As of May 6, more than 785,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the state. Approximately 54% of Delaware residents ages 16 and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 40% have been fully vaccinated.

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.

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