Marco Island allows people 40 or older to register for the COVID-19 vaccine
People 40 or older can register with the city of Marco Island to get the COVID-19 vaccine but older residents will continue to be prioritized, the city announced in a news release Monday.
Beginning April 5, people 18 or older will be allowed to register at http://vaccine.cityofmarcoisland.com, according to the news release.
The city also announced registrants will begin receiving emails every two weeks to confirm they still need the vaccine in an effort to update the city's database.
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"Due to the large number of vaccination sites that are now available in the area, many registrants have been getting vaccines elsewhere before they get an appointment with the city," the news release states.
Beginning Monday, March 29, an individual’s registration will expire after two weeks unless they respond to the email asking to remain on the list, the city announced.
Over 2,000 vaccine doses delivered
The city and Collier County EMS have delivered over 2,000 vaccine doses since the city began using a new registration system in early February, according to the news release.
In January, the city twice used the free event management website Eventbrite to register people for the vaccine, and the slots were filled within minutes. The Eventbrite account was administered by Collier County EMS.
The city stopped using Eventbrite after an investigation led by Marco Island City Manager Mike McNees concluded that Police Chief Tracy L. Frazzano's husband, William Frazzano, 65, made an online appointment for the city's first vaccination clinic before the city published the Eventbrite link on the city's website and social media accounts on Jan. 20.
McNees also concluded that Marco Island Fire-Rescue Chief Christopher Byrne failed to report the breach and allowed William Frazzano to take the vaccine on Jan. 22 despite Collier County EMS alerting him of the breach minutes before the Eventbrite link was published.
Frazzano and Byrne were suspended for 30 days in February for their roles in misuse of the county's Eventbrite vaccine registration system.
The city's decision to stop using Eventbrite also came after its website crashed on Jan. 27 as possibly thousands of web visitors attempted to make one of 200 available appointments to get the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
In February, the city announced the new registration system for full-time and seasonal residents 65 and older, where appointments would be assigned starting with Marco's oldest residents.
The city selected the new registration system to prioritize older local residents, replacing the first come-first served model the city used in January for two vaccine clinics, McNees said at the time.
A contract shows the city agreed to pay $10,000 per month to Merit International to provide registration services for 2,000 participants each month. Each additional monthly participant would cost the city $5 per participant.
The city also agreed to pay a one-time "emergency deployment setup and activation" fee of $9,000, the contract shows. The compensation to the company cannot exceed $49,000, and the agreement will continue until June 9.
The vendor would assist with assigning and notifying pre-registered individuals with their scheduled appointments for vaccinations, the contract shows. It would also provide the city with spreadsheets of the people scheduled for each week and provide customer support and services via email, text and calls.
"There won't be any city employees directly involved in selecting who gets the vaccination. It will be the vendor based on the priorities we set," McNees said at the time.
McNees said at the time the city did not have the resources to complete these tasks.
"I don't have extra city employees who have the capacity to take on that work of identifying 300 or 400 people any given week, contacting them and setting up appointments," McNees said.
McNees wrote in the news release Monday he is satisfied with Merit's work.
"We are grateful for how Merit was able to work with City staff to develop a new registration and appointment system that meets the needs of our residents," McNees wrote.