Questions about the vaccine keeping Linn County call center workers busy

Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 6:40 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -Everyone seems to have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, ‘from is it safe,’ ‘to when will i get one’ That’s kept workers at Linn County Public Health busy answering those questions. They opened up a Covid vaccine call center to take people’s phone calls.

It’s cliché to say the phone is ringing off the hook, unless you’re talking about the Linn County Public Health call center.

“When phase B started we were at 500 calls per day,” explained Kurston Lyon, HIV/HCV/STI Outreach Coordinator for Linn County Public Health, and also a call center worker. “Currently we are at 100 or so calls per day. It can be hard on those days when there’s a lot of frustrations, but they do really well.”

Lyon is one of five people on this day answering those non-stop calls. They are encourgaging people to get vaccinated, and also squashing any rumors.

“There’s a rumor that there’s an effect {vaccine} on fertility,” she said. That’s not true.”

Lyon says some callers are frustrated because they want answers, but they answer honestly. “Definitely are times that we don’t have the information that they are looking for,” she said “It frustrates us as much as it frustrates them, but we don’t want to give any information that we’re not sure of. We’re here to help you through that as well but I think it’s always nice to be nice to people that you’re talking to.”

Leaders say the goal of the call center is to give people a live body they can talk for information. “We understood that there were people out there who did not have internet that weren’t tech savvy,” said Lyon. “And so we wanted to make sure there was a place for those people to give information.”

Workers expect things to get busier as we move into the next phase, and if the FDA approves the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine. The phone number for the call center is 319-892-6097.

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