CHRISTIANSBURG — The COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center serving the New River Valley Public Health Task Force reported recently that up to 50 percent of all return calls the center made to individuals to schedule vaccine appointments were not answered or went directly to voice mail.
Outgoing calls from the call center come from 540-838-8222. If you receive a call from that number, it’s the COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center probably calling to schedule your vaccine appointment. Please answer, even if it’s labeled as potential spam.
Changes have been made so that every outgoing call is identified as “NRV Health District” and “540-838-8222.” If you can adjust the settings on your phone to be sure to accept these calls, please do so.
Citizens Cooperative, the call center service provider, also is in the process of verifying the phone number so it will no longer be labeled as potential spam.
“Call center volunteers frequently must make multiple calls to reach someone. We have learned that many calls are not answered because they’re tagged as potential spam, either by the user or by the service provider as a service to its customers,” said NRV Business Continuity Team Public Health Director Ashley Briggs. “Under normal circumstances that makes perfect sense, but during a pandemic, in order to improve everyone’s response time, we really need the calls to go through and for users to answer them as quickly as possible.”
“Citizens Cooperative has been a great partner to the New River Valley Public Health Task Force,” said Kevin Byrd, executive director of the NRV Regional Commission, which houses the call center. “They helped us quickly establish the call center and have been very responsive in identifying and fixing problems. And thanks, too, to the volunteers who staff the center’s 10 lines seven days a week. We’re all learning quickly about operating a high capacity, high volume call center.”
For more info about the vaccine, visit VDH’s Vaccine Response website (www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/) and CDC’s website (www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html).