ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Pinellas County has temporarily suspended online vaccine appointment registration, but resumed by-phone registration at 8 a.m. Tuesday. The number to call is 727-824-6900, ext. 4. According to the county health department's website, "updates will be coming."
Madaline O’Berry didn’t have high hopes when she tried to log on to register for a COVID-19 vaccine.
"I knew it was going to be everybody and their brother going on there, so I wasn’t surprised," the 75-year-old said.
The Health Department web site in Pinellas County left O’Berry and thousands of others staring at their computer screens shortly after the site went live at noon Monday.
"I figure it was just bombarded with people," continued O’Berry.
A spokesperson at the health department confirmed the site and their phone lines were "inundated."
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman says he knows county officials are doing their best, but says more of the effort should be managed from Tallahassee and Washington.
"How about we have a plan to distribute it statewide that’s organized and well thought-out?" he suggested. "So that everyone is doing things the same way and there’s one clear message."
Pinellas has vaccinated thousands of nursing home and other long-term care facilities, but many more seniors are in the general population and, to many, it seems the registration and vaccination process is off to a slow start.
"I believe in vaccines so I will eventually get it. I don’t know when," added O’Berry.
For those who do manage to get through to register, the Pinellas Vaccine sites are the Clearwater Health Center, the Mid-County Health Center, and the St. Petersburg Health Center.