KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Knox County Health Department’s vaccine registration system opened Friday, Jan. 29, to schedule over 2,000 first-dose COVID-19 vaccination appointments.

The health department confirmed that the 2,000 first-dose vaccinations appointments were filled less than 30 minutes after the registration system opened at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 29.

The online registration system for COVID-19 vaccine appointments opened at 11 a.m. for more than 2,000 first-dose vaccine appointments on February 1-3 at the Knoxville Expo Center. Those without internet or computer access can still make appointments by calling the KCHD public information line, 865-215-5555.

The department set aside a certain number of appointments for residents that have to call the public information line to make the appointment.

Doses will be administered to frontline healthcare workers, dependent disabled adults, first responders, outpatient healthcare workers with direct patient exposure and those 75 and older. Visit covid.knoxcountytn.gov/vaccine-info.html for more information on priority groups.

When accessing the scheduling website, individuals will be asked to verify eligibility requirements. After reviewing eligibility requirements, individuals will see the vaccine clinic location, dates and available appointments. From there, selecting the appointment and providing necessary personal information will work just as a number of other common appointment scheduling sites work.  

At their appointment, individuals will be required to verify their employment (with a work badge that shows a name and/or photo) or age (with a legal form of personal identification, like a drivers’ license or passport) before the vaccine is administered. 

After taking over 70,000 phone calls around the time of the last vaccine scheduling period, Menefee said the department once again expects the appointments to be filled very quickly.

“For now and for the foreseeable future, the demand for this vaccine continues to greatly outpace the supply.”

Charity Menefee, Knox County Health Department Director of communicable and environmental disease and emergency preparedness

Next week, KCHD plans to launch a new automated scheduling and registration platform with a waitlist option. Moving forward, appointments will be filled by contacting those who are on the waitlist. More information on this system will be available next week.  

“We know there is great desire for a waitlist, and we are happy to soon provide this option to our community – but, it was critical to us that we found the right system for our needs,” said Senior Director and Public Health Officer Dr. Martha Buchanan. “Not only will this new system streamline scheduling and allow those who qualify to put their names on a waitlist, its automated features will greatly benefit our team as we work to maximize efficiency at vaccine appointments. That, in turn, will have a direct benefit to Knox County citizens.”