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COVID-19 vaccine: Travis County call center to assist elderly patients

Call center staff will assist older residents to get an appointment for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

AUSTIN, Texas — Austin Public Health (APH) has partnered with Travis County to launch a call center to assist elderly patients seeking a COVID-19 vaccine.

Approved by the Travis County Commissioners Court on Tuesday, the bilingual call center will be established to assist with outbound calls for individuals registered with APH.

APH is currently providing vaccine appointments to individuals eligible through Phase 1A and 1B, including health care workers, first responders, those over 65 years of age and those over 16 years of age with a health condition that puts them at high risk for severe illness.

The call center will be contacting registered residents 80 years of age and older as well as others who registered for appointments and have had challenges or questions.

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Staff will assist those residents in getting an appointment for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

APH said staff members were trained at the call center on Monday and there will be additional training this week.

Staff includes former temporary employees from the Elections Division of the Travis County Clerk's office and APH employees.

“We know vaccine supplies are limited and we understand that not everyone has access to the technology needed to register online for the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Travis County Judge Andy Brown. “Today’s approval of funding will allow us to personally reach out in English and Spanish to the most vulnerable and make certain they can secure their place in line for the COVID-19 vaccine.”

“Once again our election workers are stepping up to serve the public. Their expertise in communicating with hard to reach populations, such as our seniors and Spanish speakers, make them the perfect candidates to help those who need assistance registering for the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir.

The call center service will be provided each week through March 2021, APH said. The hours of operation will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Since APH was designated as a vaccine “hub” location for Travis County, it has received 12,000 doses per week from the State. That number is expected to increase as more vaccine supply becomes available in the coming weeks and months.

APH leaders have said the county does not have enough vaccine supply currently to keep up with the high demand.

“APH is surging in every aspect of the response and appreciate the additional resources to give as much information as possible while vaccine is limited,” said Austin Public Health Director Stephanie Hayden-Howard.

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