KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Knox County Health Department Senior Director and Public Health Officer Dr. Martha Buchanan said Tuesday the county will roll out a new online registration and waitlist system for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Buchanan said in a weekly briefing that qualifying individuals will be able to sign up for the new vaccine waitlist beginning at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10. A window will open on the KCHD COVID-19 page that will take users to the new waitlist sign-up system.

Those without a computer or internet access can still sign up for the waitlist by calling the KCHD Public Information at 865-215-5555 or calling 311.

As supply of vaccine doses increases, those on the waitlist will be contacted for available appointments in the order they appear on the list.

Through the waitlist platform, qualifying individuals will also be able to be put on a stand-by list in the event of leftover vaccine doses at the end of a clinic which need to be administered before the doses expire. Those on the standby list will need to be readily available to come to the Knox County Health Department or another centrally-located location to receive the vaccine as soon as you are contacted.

You must meet current eligibility requirements to sign up for the waitlist. Knox County is currently vaccinating groups in Phase 1a1 and 1a2 of the rollout plan, which includes healthcare workers, first responders, and those age 70 and older. Visit the KCHD vaccine page for more information.

Earlier this month, Knox County signed a six-month contract with Luminare to create a new vaccine clinic appointment system. The contract will cost Knox County $92,250, including implementation, site planning, texting capabilities and 24/7 support.

“We are thrilled to offer this option for folks in our community,” said Dr. Buchanan. “A lot of people of expressed interest in getting this vaccine, so we expect the waitlist to have thousands of names on it. We want to be clear that it will take time – and significant vaccine supply – to work our way down the list and get everybody vaccinated.”  

Demand for the vaccine in the area remains high, with thousands of previous KCHD vaccination clinic appointments being scheduled in a matter of minutes. KCHD received more than 72,000 phone calls on Friday, Jan. 22, as they scheduled 1,000 first-dose vaccination appointments.

To date, more than 56,000 vaccinations have been administered in the community. According to state data for the big four metropolitan counties, Knox County is leading when looking at the percent of population who have received just one dose. More than 265,000 Tennesseans are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.