File Photo | Photo: National Cancer Institute.

Health officials said that more than 40,000 residents in Lake County have already registered for COVID-19 vaccines after the county’s registration portal launched on Wednesday.

The site is called AllVax and allows all Lake County residents to register to be notified when a COVID-19 vaccine is available for them.

“We want to assure our residents that their safety is our top priority,” said Mark Pfister, Executive Director at the Lake County Health Department.

“The COVID-19 vaccines that will be available soon have gone through extensive clinical trials. The trial results indicate remarkable effectiveness in preventing COVID-19 with low risk of serious side effects,” Pfister added.

Residents will be prompted to enter their basic information and answer a few screening questions on the portal. They will be notified when a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available.

Those who are registered through the portal can schedule vaccination appointments through Lake County clinics or facilities once a vaccine is available for them.

The portal also includes answers to frequently asked questions on vaccination, health officials said.

“The Lake County AllVax Portal gives us the opportunity to protect the health of our community by getting the right people the vaccination at the right time,” said Jefferson McMillan-Wilhoit, Director of Health Informatics and Technology at the Health Department.

“This portal is a huge advance in being able to reduce infections and restore our communities, and we encourage all residents do their part—get registered on the portal and get vaccinated,” McMillan-Wilhoit said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday. Certain groups of people who are at higher risk will be eligible for vaccination before others due to the initial limited vaccine supply.

The Lake County Health Department said they have a goal to vaccinate 80% of Lake County residents.

“This is an exciting moment in science and an important step toward ending the COVID-19 pandemic, which has come at great cost to public health, our healthcare systems, and our economy,” Pfister said.

Those interested can visit AllVax.lakecohealth.org or call the Lake County Health Department at 847-377-8130 to register.