Currently it’s not all that quiet inside the Rockville Public Library. Behind shelves of children’s books, a rotating cast of characters picks up phones at Vernon’s pop-up call center.
“We have staff here from the police department, from social services, from youth services, from the senior center, to the library staff, to the board of education,” said Michelle Hill, director of the Vernon Regional Call Center.
They’re helping community members 75 and older living in Vernon, Somers, Tolland, Ellington, and Stafford sign up for a vaccine appointment.
“We’re getting a minimum of like 50 calls a day,” said Hill.
Cynthia Maheu works at Vernon’s Senior Center, so while the pandemic shut those doors, she was happy to help here.
“It’s just getting them scheduled for their first appointment and you know maneuvering through the state VAMs system has been a challenge for this population,” said Maheu, an administrative assistant at the senior center.
The call center’s latest challenge: schedule changes.
Eastern Connecticut Health Network just recently had to cancel appointments.
The health care system says they want to ensure they have enough second doses for folks who got their first shot at Rockville General or Manchester Memorial Hospitals.
“It is a demand issue. I don’t think we overbooked. The complexity of this is that it’s two shots,” said ECHN Vaccine Coordinator Dan Delgallo.
And what makes this call center unique is that those answering phones can follow-up with the person who calls in making sure they get a ride to an appointment.
And if there aren’t any appointments readily available, they’ll check back in later.
“A lot of them didn’t have email, so they were unable to make the appointment. It’s nice to be able to help them out and get them an appointment close to home too. said Jackie Pugliese who works at Center Road School in Vernon as an administrative assistant.
The phone number for the Vernon Regional Call Center 860-896-4568.
Monday-Wednesday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Thursday: 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
Friday 8:30 a.m. - 1p.m.
This service is for those eligible to get vaccinated under phase 1B, who live in Vernon, Somers, Tolland, Ellington, and Stafford.
For those who live in other municipalities who are struggling to sign-up for a vaccine appointment online, the call center asks you to contact the state support line: 877-918-2224.
Hours: 8 a.m. -4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday