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Williams County opens new hotline for COVID-19 vaccine registration

Anyone in Williams County looking to get registered for the COVID-19 vaccine can now go online or call 419-636-0081 for help.

BRYAN, Ohio — A new COVID-19 vaccine call center was created in Williams County to help people register for an appointment, as the COVID-19 vaccine continues to be in high demand.

Health officials want to make sure they're doing their best to reach everyone who wants the vaccine. 

Health commissioner Jim Watkins said the move was needed as the groups eligible for the vaccine continue to grow.

"Just the sheer demand. There's so many people that want this vaccine for our phone system and our operations at the phone department. It was overwhelming," he said.

Williams County health leaders teamed up with the county's Emergency Management Association (EMA) to create the new hotline. There can be up to four call-takers on duty fielding the phones. 

The number for the hotline is 419-636-0081. 

Watkins said the phone option is needed for those that don't know how to get online and schedule.

"About 20% of the population in Williams County is 65 and older, and with that, a lot of that generation - especially when you start getting into the 80 plus - they like to talk to someone," he said.

EMA Director April McClaine said they expect call volumes to increase as more people become available to get the vaccine.

"They are very appreciative when they get to a live person, and they're very appreciative when they don't have to go online because there are a lot of people that don't have good internet access and just don't know how to work that system," she said.

Officials hope this will make it easier to serve everyone in the county who wants to get vaccinated.