EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego and Mayor Oscar Leeser on Friday morning announced that the city and county will combine COVID-19 vaccine registration systems to help make it easier for El Pasoans to register and to bring more vaccines to the city.
“We want to better the process and we want to make sure that our citizens have the proper experience … we will not rest until every citizen of our community is vaccinated,” Leeser said in a joint press conference with Samaniego. “We’re going to one system — one registration system, a system that will provide so that we won’t have duplications and that will provide equality between how we do it.”
Samaniego added one registration system streamlines the process for everyone.
“We want to have one system, one dashboard and one united voice,” Samaniego said.
Leeser also added that the combination will also help to bring more vaccines to El Paso.
“One thing this will show us – if we start improving our system, the federal government will look at our system and say, well, they’re prepared to get more,” Leeser said.
The centralization process may take some time, according to the city, requiring University Medical Center to continue opening its registration portal a few more times until the process is finalized.
Once the mechanism to share data from the City’s list is established, UMC will no longer open its online registration system but will collaborate with the City of El Paso to administer vaccines to those on the comprehensive pre-registration list, according to a news release.
To help increase the number of people vaccinated, officials said there will be an effort to reach rural areas, particularly people 70 and older in those areas.
A partnership with Desert Imaging has been established to utilize three mobile units that will help get to those places that are hard to reach, officials said.
As the Johnson & Johnson vaccine becomes available, an effort will be made to reach those people that are also hard to reach, such as the homeless or prisoners, since they might reach them more than once.
Health officials hope to reach a goal of 50,000 vaccines per week.