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Polk COVID-19 Vaccine Opened Jan. 8 to Heavy Call Volume

The Florida Department of Health Polk County's COVID-19 vaccine hotline opened to the public the morning of Jan. 8 and by 1 p.m. all reservations for next week's vaccine event were filled.

The phone line, (863) 298-7500, will be staffed for the foreseeable future by employees from both the Florida Department of Health and Polk County Board of County Commissioners from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Employees staffing the hotline will continue to register residents 65 years of age and older for a future vaccine appointment, as additional vaccine becomes available.

"I am thankful to have our COVID-19 vaccine hotline up and running for Polk County. We ask for your patience and understanding as we continue to iron out the wrinkles," said Dr. Joy Jackson, director of the Florida Department of Health in Polk County. "We hope this hotline will allow those 65 and older to sign up for a vaccine appointment or allow them to register their information so that we can contact them for future vaccination appointment."

Due to heavy call volumes, callers may experience a busy signal and we ask for their patience as this process continues. It is estimated that the call center Friday morning was receiving more than 100 calls per second.

Those who are eligible for the vaccine, 65 years old and older, may call the line to provide their information and ask questions of staff. The Department of Health is following Gov. Ron DeSantis' protocol of putting seniors as a main priority for the initial rounds of vaccinations.

More than 5,400 individuals in Polk had received a COVID-19 vaccination by Jan. 8. The Health Department received its first weekly allotment of vaccines Dec. 28.


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