AURORA | The Tri-County Health Department’s call center will now help people who do not have internet access or speak English sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Department staff members will help people ages 65 and up get on the waitlist for the vaccine, according to a Monday news release. Operators will help callers fill out forms but will not retain their medical information. The service is free and is in English and Spanish, with other languages available through a language line.
The service is being established as part of Tri-County’s strategy to ensure that communities of color and other underserved communities have equitable access to the vaccine, the release said.
More than 260,000 vaccine doses have been administered in the Tri-County region so far, the release said. Almost 60% of residents 70 and older have received at least one dose.
A Sentinel report found that in Aurora, whiter, wealthier residents eligible for the vaccine were more likely to have received it. Language barriers, distrust of the medical system and lack of healthcare access are all barriers for lower-income Aurorans and Aurorans of color.
To try and bridge the gap, Tri-County and local community organizations have been holding pop-up vaccine clinics. Now, the call service is another tool in the county’s repertoire.
The Tri-County call center is open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for residents of the Tri-County area at (303)-220-9200. The state of Colorado’s hotline can also help register people, and is available 24/7 at 1-877-268-2926.