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Fort Bend County COVID vaccine: Changes made to registration portal; more doses come in

Fort Bend County Health & Human Services received another shipment of vaccine doses from the state, officials announced Tuesday.

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas — Fort Bend County officials have announced changes to the county's registration portal for those who still need to get a coronavirus vaccination.

Note: the video in this story reports on the the COVID-19 variants going around the country and the world

The announcement came on the same day as more doses of the vaccine were received from the state, and a drive-thru vaccination site was announced at the Sugar Land Smart Financial Centre.

As of Tuesday morning, 12,000 doses were available, said health department spokeswoman Rita Obi. By 11 a.m. the county had posted a message that the most recent round of appointments were booked up. The drive-thru event in Sugar Land was also booked up.

There are some helpful and important things to note from Tuesday morning's press conference, which you can watch here:

How to access the Fort Bend County COVID vaccine portal

You can register at www.fbchealth.org — for those in the the state's 1A and 1B populations. If you have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine’s safety or eligibility guidelines, please visit the Texas Department of State Health Services information page or contact Fort Bend County's vaccine question hotline at 832-471-1373.

Changes to the county's COVID portal

Registration is open when vaccination doses are available. In the past, users would register on the county's website and then wait for a telephone call to schedule the actual appointment. Now, however, users will receive a message that indicates they will later receive an email with a one-time use, personal link to finish the registration and set up their own appointment time. This link should not be shared with anyone else.

County officials said they are using this delayed, staggered email response system so as to keep their website from crashing from too many people trying to book their appointments at the same time.

Still waiting for your 2nd dose? Watch your phone/email

The county says Fort Bend residents who are waiting to receive their second dose and don't yet have an appointment booked should keep a close eye on their email and incoming phone calls. Those second doses are quickly becoming available and this is how residents will be notified.

Special note: The county says some people will receive a phone call from an "unidentified" or "private" phone number to set up the 2nd dose appointment. Make sure you do not block or ignore these calls at this time. Residents should also monitor their email junk/spam/newsletter/promotions folders.

Still trying to get your 1st dose? Don't use just one method

Fort Bend County Judge KP George suggests residents should be looking at all avenues possible to get their vaccinations, not just relying on the county portal. Make sure you are on your healthcare provider or doctor's vaccine waitlist and keep an eye on the county's website for announcements as new doses become available. The judge said he hopes that within four to five months we could start to see some normalcy, but remember, you must still wear a mask and keep socially distant during these times.

LIST: How and where to get a COVID vaccination in the Houston area | County-by-county list