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DHEC launches new COVID-19 vaccine hotline

Updated: Jan. 29, 2021 at 2:00 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control launched a new information line to help people get answers about COVID-19 vaccines.

The line, which will operate every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., launched Friday with 240 phone operators.

People who have questions about vaccines or who need help finding providers and their contact information can call 1-866-365-8110.

“Many in South Carolina don’t have access to the internet, so offering a dedicated vaccine phone line to help them locate contact information for vaccine providers is essential,” DHEC Deputy of Public Health Nick Davidson said. “This new line helps DHEC offer better customer service that keeps pace with people’s demand for vaccine and vaccine information.”

This new phone line comes as calls to DHEC have skyrocketed since those in S.C. aged 70 and older were able to begin scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

According to officials, the DHEC Care Line has received about 24,000 calls a day since vaccine appointments were made available for those in that age group.

DHEC also increased the number of operators at its Care Line from 30 to 48 and is actively training additional staff.

The Care Line maintains the same hours of operations at the vaccine information line, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

The Care Line assists people with general questions about COVID-19, testing, or who need to schedule an appointment at a DHEC health department for SC STRONG appointments, family planning, well-child check-ups, WIC services, HIV/STD screening, and other health department services.

“By offering two well-staffed information lines, we’re reducing wait times and improving people’s experience by quickly getting the help they need,” Davidson said. “In the next several weeks, we’ll be adding an additional 200 operators to the vaccine information line. We are encouraged by the number of people who want to be vaccinated in South Carolina. Until our vaccine supply equals our demand, we ask for everyone’s continued patience. Everyone will have a chance to get the vaccine.”

The DHEC Care Line can be reached at 1-855-472-3432.

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