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COVID vaccine appointment calls flood metro Detroit systems

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Posted at 4:48 PM, Jan 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-12 16:56:23-05

(WXYZ) — Thousands in metro Detroit are frustrated after not being able to get through area COVID-19 vaccine hotlines to book an appointment to receive the vaccine.

The systems were inundated Monday, the first day Michiganders 65 and older were approved to receive the vaccine after Governor Whitmer announced the state was moving into Phase 1C, Group A, while many local municipalities still don’t have enough doses to accommodate.

“There is a difference between saying 65-year-olds are eligible and actually having the vaccine,” said Mayor Mike Duggan in a Tuesday press conference.

Duggan announced roughly 50,000 people were on hold within the first half-hour of a 42 operator-manned phone system coming online Monday.

The number of Rock Connection operators jumped to 76 Tuesday to meet the number of calls coming in.

Duggan said many who waited to talk to an operator were ineligible to receive the city-administered vaccine.

“The folks on the phone only have one job. Book the 75-year-olds in the city of Detroit into appointments,” said Duggan.

Roughly 2,000 appointments were booked on day one, and 20,000 will be accepted through February 5th.

Wayne County’s Chief Health Strategist Dr. Mouhanad Hammami told county commissioners that available doses in the county were down to 33 yesterday morning before a new shipment arrived.

Hammami added the County is still in Phase 1A.

In Macomb County, a Facebook posted by the Health Department alerted residents that vaccine appointments were no longer available due to a lack of vaccine supply.

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