Hidalgo County rolling out online COVID-19 vaccine system

EDINBURG — Hidalgo County announced Monday that residents will now be able to register online to set up an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine at county-run clinics.

The online registration system will launch at 9 a.m. Tuesday and will let people register for the Moderna vaccine that is being distributed by the county, a news release said.

Once registration reaches capacity, the system will not accept new registrations. Residents, however, are being encouraged to check back frequently because new registrants will be allowed if existing registrants cancel their appointments.

“We appreciate the patience of our residents,” Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez wrote. “As the vaccine manufacturers increase the production of the COVID-19 vaccines, we in Hidalgo County are increasing our efficiency. This online registration system is a tremendous step forward on that front.”

County health clinics currently operate Monday-Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The new system will allow people to make vaccine appointments on behalf of themselves or others, such as elderly parents, the release said. Registrants may set up appointments for up to two people and the system will also send people an electronic reminder of their second dose appointment one day in advance of the appointment.

To make an online appointment when the system goes live Tuesday, readers can register here.

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine has used a similar online registration system to allocate its vaccines, opening registration periodically as more vaccines become available and usually closing it quickly due to high demand.

COVID-19 numbers continued to be reported by Rio Grande Valley counties Monday.

Hidalgo County reported six additional deaths related to COVID-19 on Tuesday along with 130 new cases of the virus.

The county reported 69 of the new cases as confirmed, 57 as probable and four as suspected, bringing the total for the county to 83,531 cases, of which 55,595 are confirmed, 26,645 probable and 1,291 suspected.

The six fatalities ranged from people in their 30s to above 70, two of them women and four men. They lived in Edinburg, Mission and Weslaco.

The county reported 131 individuals remained in county hospitals with the virus, 49 of them in intensive care units.

Willacy County reported nine new cases Monday, bringing the total there to 2,278.