DHEC creating new phone line to handle only vaccine-related calls in S.C.

DHEC creating new phone line to handle only vaccine-related calls in S.C.
(Source: WAVE 3 News)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – The Department of Health and Environmental Control said it will soon be easier to get vaccine appointment help in South Carolina.

Interim Public Health Director Dr. Brannon Traxler announced on Wednesday that the health agency is creating a new public call center, where the only goal is to help people with their vaccine questions.

The DHEC Care Line has received about 24,000 calls a day since vaccine appointments were made available to those 70 and older, according to Traxler. The Cares Line is used to help people figure out who they need to call, or what website they need to go to in order to book a vaccine appointment.

DHEC has doubled the number of call center operators at the Care Line to help field all the calls. The South Carolina Emergency Management Department also activated its Public Information Phone System, which is usually used during hurricanes, to help provide vaccine appointment information.

Traxler said the new call center will be up and running in the coming days and will provide more information when it’s operational.

She added that the CARES Line will still be used, but only for non-vaccine-related calls.

Traxler also said that DHEC’s IT team is making strides in creating a one-stop-shop appointment program that will be used statewide. She added it will make scheduling appointments more streamlined and easier, especially for the older population or even those without the internet or computer access.

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