Polk County has launched an online portal for people 65 and older to register to receive COVID-19 vaccinations as supplies become available. The portal is at register.polk.health.

After successfully filling in registration information, users are told they will be scheduled for an appointment and notified of the time by the Florida Department of Health.

The new site includes an FAQ page that answers questions about the local procedures and the Moderna vaccine being offered.

“This is something we have been developing, but wanted to get right,” County Commission Chairman Rick Wilson said in a news release issued today. “Relying on the proven technology we used to register Polk’s residents for CARES Act funding, we worked with the Florida Department of Health to develop an efficient online system to register the public for the COVID-19 vaccine.”

The telephone hotline that the county and Health Department launched last week remains open for people who would like to register by phone or get their questions answered.

The number is (863) 298-7500. It will be answered 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, as well as this coming Monday, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

The hotline was getting more than 100 calls per second when it opened Friday morning, so thousands of people trying to call got repeated busy signals or messages that the number wasn’t available.

A tip for people using a smartphone to register for vaccinations: When the calendar pops up for you to enter your birth date, tap the month at the top left — not the two arrows at the top right — to navigate quickly to the correct date.

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Barry Friedman founded Lkldnow.com in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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  1. Trying to call is absolutely ridiculous. Why can our public service officials allow their phone system capture the callers phone number and staff return the calls at a later time. If this was private industry the c e o would be terminated

  2. Instead of first come first serve, do it by zip code, alphabetical(last name begins with a and b ,then y and Z0 so on and so on. Let’s be smart about this and do it right.

  3. My husband and I have the same email address so why can’t we both sign up with that email address

  4. Do not have a cell phone or a printer., food and medicine comes first. SO I can not finish registering. NOW what do I do- phone lines are a constant busy…I am disabled, partner is very ill and I need to go close to home as he can not drive far and has a big problem getting my wheel chair in the car..both of our health is bad but no help available for us at all… And to think they want to rename US27 for the person who delayed helping all US citizens to being with,,,take DeSantis out with him also…

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