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SLO County to move to a lottery-based system for COVID-19 vaccine registration

Vaccination Site
Vaccination Site

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- San Luis Obispo County will soon move to a lottery-based system for COVID-19 vaccine registration.

Public Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein made the announcement on Wednesday at the County's weekly COVID-19 press briefing.

"The demand on our system and the available vaccine are woefully disperate, said Borenstein. "There's not nearly enough opportunities for people to make appointments among those who want to, so we want to address this in a fair and equitable and logistically feasible manner."

The new lottery system will replace the current model, which basically works on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Since the vaccine has become available, eligible residents resigter either through the website or by phone.

Currently, first dose appointments open up each Thursday at 9 a.m. and are booked within minutes.

Borenstein said the County had contemplated using a lottery-system in the past, but ultimately decided to use the current model.

However, County leaders felt now was the appropriate time to switch models even though another change is set to happen within the next two months.

"We had put a pause on this idea of the lottery system when we were told that the My Turn statewide appointment scheduling system was coming imminently," said Borenstein. "We have since learned that that is probably not as close out as we were originally told, and so am though we did not want to confuse the public with. the changing system, and changing it again just a couple weeks or so later, we believe now that our migration to the state system My Turn is likely to be six or eight weeks possibly, and thus we feel that we need to do something now locally to deal with improving our appointment system."

According to Borenstein, residents will only have to register one time to enter the lottery.

"We will have X number of first appointments available, whether you register the minute before we actually run the numbers, if you will, or you registered three weeks ago, you will be available to be pulled by random electronically to get an appointment," said Borenstein. "You register one time. You remain in our system until you either withdraw or we get you an appointment."

For more information on COVID-19 vaccinations in San Luis Obispo County, visit

California / Community / Health / Safe at Home / Safety / San Luis Obispo County / What's Right
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Dave Alley

Dave Alley is a reporter and anchor at NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Dave, click here.

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