KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Knox County Health Department will remove the COVID-19 vaccine waitlist option from its website in favor of a new system to allow residents to sign up directly for appointments.

Beginning April 5, the Knox County Health Department Vaccine Information webpage will feature a direct registration system that allows community members to select an appointment date at registration rather than putting their name on a waitlist for the next available appointment.

Those people who are on the Health Department waitlist will be contacted by the department. The waitlist closed March 29 to allow time to work those people into appointments.

Knox County joined most Tennessee counties last week in allowing people aged 16 and older to sign up for vaccine appointments.

According to a KCHD release, more than 50,000 people signed up for the vaccine waitlist since its inception on Feb. 9. Over 11,000 names were still on the waitlist as of the morning of March 29.