To continue to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine equitably, Tri-County Health Department’s COVID-19 call center staff will now help people 65+ who do not have internet or speak English register with COVID-19 vaccine providers. Staff members will be acting as navigators during this process, entering basic contact information while working with the caller. Although the waitlists of some providers ask for medical information during registration, call center staff will simply enter such information into the online form if needed but will not retain any personal information. The service is free, Spanish-speaking staff are available, and other languages are available through a language line.
So far, over 260,000 vaccine doses have been administered to 179,294 Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) area residents in Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties through 146 enrolled providers and community partners, including clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, churches, and rec centers. Over 14% of TCHD’s residents have received at least their first dose, including 59.9% of TCHD’s 70+ population. In Douglas County, nearly 17% of residents have received at least their first dose, including 71.5% of the 70+ population.
The expanded work of the call center will support TCHD’s Strategy to Ensure Equitable COVID-19 Vaccine Access, which is a plan to ensure fair access and distribution of the vaccine to communities of color and other groups who have been immensely affected by the pandemic and are currently under-vaccinated compared to other groups. The TCHD call center hopes to connect these underserved communities with vaccine providers to ensure equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and TCHD community partners are also helping ensure equitable distribution by holding “Pop-up” vaccine clinics in these underserved communities to help make access to the vaccine easier for people who may not have transportation or the means to get to a medical center or large vaccine event.
“Pop-up clinics” are one-time events sponsored by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and community partners, using vaccine provided by the State’s Vaccine Equity allocation. Thus far, 24 pop-up clinics have been held or are scheduled in TCHD’s area. These clinics will provide additional vaccinations to over 8,000 people. In addition to pop-up clinics, TCHD is assessing where to place ongoing fixed community based clinics that can best offer local vaccine access on a regular basis when more vaccine supply is available.
The TCHD COVID-19 Call Center is open for people who live in the Tri-County Health Department area from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 303-220-9200 for more information or for assistance with online registration. The state of Colorado’s call center can also help people register and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 1-877-CO VAX CO (1-877-268-2926).