Carteret County phone bank among those overwhelmed with calls to schedule COVID-19 vaccines

Crystal Coast

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (WNCT) — Counties across Eastern North Carolina are receiving up to 1,000 calls every day from people trying to schedule their COVID-19 vaccinations.

Carteret County is one of many local governments with a phone bank to handle all of the calls and scheduling requests. County leaders there say they’re doing the best they can to schedule these appointments. There are currently 10 people working the Carteret County call bank. As of Thursday morning, those 10 have put more than 10,000 people on the wait list to get a COVID vaccination.

The first step involves Carteret’s phone bank workers taking down initial contact information from callers. People seeking COVID shots are then placed on a waiting list. Workers will contact those people and schedule them based on how many vaccine doses the county gets from the state. They will only call enough people to fill the available vaccination slots.

Counties in ENC find out at the end of each week how much vaccine they’re getting for the next week. That’s one of the biggest challenges that Carteret County Emergency Services Director Stephen Rea said the county has to deal with.

“We’re only alloted so much from the state each week,” Rea said. “And knowing that number at the end of the week is hard to plan for the week ahead, so it would be nice to know those numbers early, or have an idea as to what vaccinations are alloted to us.”

The county has pulled workers from its other agencies to help handle the heavy volume of calls. In addition, members of the National Guard have provided assistance.

If you need to schedule a vaccination, you can call 252-728-8550 and push option 2. The phone bank is open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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