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St. Johns County expands COVID-19 call center; appointments via phone open Thursday

You can ask questions, as well as get coronavirus vaccination and testing information over the phone.
Credit: Getty Images
Several people have called FCN asking what to do if they don't have access to schedule an appointment online.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — St. Johns County is ramping up its COVID-19 call center trying to help seniors frustrated by efforts to book a vaccine appointment.

This comes after drive-up lines stretched for miles during an attempt to offer the shots on a first-come, first-served basis.

You can get information and beginning this Thursday, you can also make an appointment just by using your phone. 

“We wanted to make sure all our residents equally have access to appointments," Joseph Giammanco said.

Joseph Giammanco is the Interim Director of St. Johns County Emergency Management and hopes people 65 and older don't have to wait in those long lines again to get a coronavirus vaccine. 

“We’ve had the call center open for quite a few months, but we really ramped up recently right after Christmas," Giammanco said.

The county had about half a dozen workers answering calls before Christmas. 

“We here have roughly about two dozen people answering phones seven days a week from 8 to 5," Giammanco said. 

You can ask questions, as well as get coronavirus vaccination and testing information over the phone.

“If you aren’t willing to use a computer, don’t have a computer, or just want to talk to somebody, we do have appointments via phone," Giammanco said. "You can call the same hotline number you would use for the call center, which is 904-295-3711.”

You can make an appointment beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday on the county's website or by calling someone at the call center. 

“We’re fielding about 4,000 calls a day through our call center. It might ring a little before you get a hold of somebody, but rest assured we are here," Giammanco said. "Our phone lines are up and running, and we are taking calls.”

Giammanco says patience is important if you plan to call in. A worker will take your name and number, and someone will call you back if an appointment is available.