CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state’s new COVID-19 vaccine hotline fielded more than 2,500 calls from state residents in the first two days of operation.
Gov. Jim Justice announced the creation of the service during his Monday media briefing on the coronavirus.
The hotline, 1-833-734-0965, is being handled by the state Department of Health and Human Resources Office of Constituent Services. Director John Lopez said the goal is to let state residents talk to a real person and find out information they need about the vaccines.
“When they call a hotline they don’t want to hear a recording. They want to talk with an actual individual. We want to have minimal wait times and provide good customer service and let them know we’re here,” Lopez said.
The majority of callers during the first two days have had similar questions, according to Lopez.
“Where and when can I get vaccinated? That’s been the thing,” Lopez said.
The hotline has information about county health department vaccination clinic schedules. Lopez said he anticipates the information they’ll have to give to callers will increase once the state gets more doses of the vaccines.
The hotline was in operation for seven hours Monday and fielded 1,119 calls. It had taken 1,272 new calls by 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
It’s not only been state residents who have made the call, Lopez said.
“We’ve had people from other states call us and ask if they can come to West Virginia and get vaccinated because we are getting people vaccinated in such a timely manner,” he said.
The hotline is taking calls Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Residents can also get information at vaccinate.wv.gov