By Susan Hardee Steger
January 15, 2021

After close to nine hours, the new Nassau County COVID-19 waitlist process opened for the first time today and added 6,872 people to its vaccine waitlist system.  As far as we know, the easy to use system worked extremely well (click here to view).  The COVID-19 Help Desk manned the phones for those with no computer access to add names to the list. (COVID-19 Help Desk at 904-548-0900).

Once you are on the waitlist, sit back and relax. When a shipment of vaccines is received, a random sorting of waitlist names will take place and emails will be sent alerting the first round of individuals selected. If someone does not respond to the email, NCEM will call the individual.

The number of people selected for the first round of vaccines depends on the number of doses received.

According to Public Information Officer Dave Richardson, the COVID-19 Help Desk will be opened Saturday, January 16, from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.  Call the COVID-19 Help Desk at 904-548-0900 for questions or to sign up for the waitlist if you are unable to signup via mobile phone or computer.

The new system was developed by the Nassau County Emergency Management team after the waitlist suggestion was made at a Board Of County Commission meeting.



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Jay Kayne
Jay Kayne (@guest_60104)
1 year ago

Does the term “random sorting” actually mean that? Am I to understand, even if I signed up for the wait list on the first day and am waiting to be called due to the available supply, someone else could sigh up a month later and has an equal chance of being called before I do? Just asking.

Ruthellen Mulberg
Ruthellen Mulberg(@rmulberg)
1 year ago

I have to piggy back on Jay’s comment. While I was very happy to observe the quick response by the County after the difficulties with the initial reservation process and the speedy implementation of a vast improvement, on closer review I was a bit deflated! Why does it still have to ultimately proceed as a lottery? Why can’t the distribution proceed on a first in/first out basis?

( When I go to the deli counter at Publix, I take the next ticket in the machine and get called when my number comes up! Is that so hard?)

Arguably, in this situation, even that is not ideal. If a little more information would have been collected from the “customers” to establish age and evidence of preexisting conditions, then perhaps the list could have been sorted to serve the most vulnerable to Covid first.

(Now, I’m just saying).

John Goshco
John Goshco (@guest_60107)
1 year ago


I happened to be on my computer when my nearby phone (text message) notified me that I could now sign up for the vaccine. Great!

25 frustrating minutes later, after trying on two different computers and three different browsers, I could easily access the OneNassau web site, but the button linking to the sign-up link was nowhere to be found. Lots of “plans”. Lots of links to “manuals”. Nice, detailed instructions on how to sign up. Just no actual link to the EventBrite web site.

10:00 the next morning (Jan 15) I tried again and the button/link magically appeared. After that, it was easy to sign up.

I then realized that my odds to get a vaccine were perhaps 1 in 2,000 and that as more people signed up after me that my odds were 1 in 4,000, or 1 in 10,000 and rapidly decreasing.


I’m not desperate to get a vaccine, but sooner, rather than later would be nice. While I am willing to wait, I have family members who should be on the “sooner” list, not a lottery list.

Elizabeth Layman
Elizabeth Layman (@guest_60108)
1 year ago

I am a volunteer at NCEM for the Vaccination Waitlist phone room. “Random sorting” means that when vaccine is available, the number of vaccines will determine how persons on the waitlist can receive the vaccine. Since there will most likely be more people on the list than available vaccines at any given time, the computer does a random selection from the list. For example, if there are 300 vaccines, but 500 persons on the waitlist, 300 persons on the list will be randomly selected by the computer and notified that they can claim their ticket to get the vaccine and get their appointment. I have read that some residents are upset that this is not a “first-come, first-served” process. That was the original process and caused much frustration and consternation for nearly everyone, except those lucky enough to “refresh” their screen at the right second. This system solves the need to be sitting at your computer at a specific second in time.

As for not working like the system at Publix to get your deli order, I hope people understand the following: (1) there are many, many residents who are working and cannot just sit at their computer (or stand in a Publix line) at a specific time; (2) many residents, particularly our older population, do not have access to the internet and need assistance to register, which is why NCEM maintains a phone number for help doing that; (3) many residents in this age group may have limited vision, or limited dexterity to register themselves in such an online system that previously existed. I commend the county for developing a system that also provides equal access to those who are underserved, who are working, and who have much limited time and access to the internet. We are all one in this fight, and I am encouraged that we are paying attention to those who are less fortunate than many of us. While I understand that people may want a system that serves those who get there “first”, I also hope that everyone understands that not everyone is able to be “served” in such a system due to situations beyond their control.

I also ask that we remain patient. The new waitlist system went live on Friday morning, and OF COURSE, everyone was trying to get online at the same time. That’s understandable. But within one hour, the number of persons using the system had decreased to the point where getting online was quick. As I said earlier, since this is not a “first-come first-served” system, and the need to be sitting there and spending an hour refreshing screens, etc. has eliminated this problem. There were probably 10 volunteers working the phones when the system went live on Friday morning. We were able to take hundreds and hundreds of calls within just a couple of hours. We helped people register who could not get online, and that phone number was there for everyone. I hope people are patient with this…………imagine the 10 of us sitting there working as fast as possible to answer the phones. We worked hard at that, and believe me, no one took a break for ANY reason for hours.

And understand that access to the “eventbrite” site will happen when vaccine arrives and people on the waitlist get the email from eventbrite to “claim their ticket” to get the vaccine. Appointments cannot be made until the county actually RECEIVES the vaccine or at least has confirmed date of arrival. That information is included in the instructions on the website.

Again, please please be understanding and patient.

Jay Kayne
Jay Kayne (@guest_60111)
1 year ago

They why not just call it a lottery, not a wait list. I think we would all be less frustrated if we were given accurate information by the state and county.

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