DOH call center helps get people signed up for vaccine appointments

SPOKANE, Wash. — If you’re still struggling to find a vaccine appointment, there’s more help now available. The Department of Health launched a vaccine finder tool in mid-March and since that point, we’ve heard from a lot of our viewers looking for more information.

Monday morning, the DOH went live with their expanded call center, supported by a full team of Amazon representatives helping callers schedule appointments by phone.

“They are using the Vaccine Locator tool that we developed to find appointments and help folks who may not be digitally savvy, and able to navigate by themselves to use that tool on their mobile phone or their computer, they can call that hotline and the agent who answers will navigate them successfully to scheduling an appointment,” said DOH chief information officer Jennifer McNamara.

Earlier in the month, President Biden announced he wanted all adults eligible for the vaccine by May 1. If that’s going to become a reality, states will have to get people vaccinated much more quickly. Here in Washington, major tech companies have pitched in to help out. The vaccine locator website was created with help from Microsoft, Starbucks, & Expedia.

Their efforts make the process easier for everyone.

“Since the Thursday launch, we’ve had over 200-thousand unique users visit our vaccine locator web app, either via mobile computer or on their mobile device,” said McNamara, “and nearly 70% of those users have clicked through to a provider scheduling site to make an appointment.”

55% of those users were on a mobile device, and the creators made sure to engineer the website to be compatible with phone users. They’re already focusing on upgrades, like real-time data, and as the eligibility expands, they expect this resource to become even more valuable.

To get over-the-phone support, dial 211.

You can access the Vaccine Locator website here.

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