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The new Walker County COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline call center is shown in this photograph. Contributed photo / Walker County government

Residents of Walker County, Georgia, now can call a new hotline to submit their information to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

The Walker County COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at 706-670-1234 will be available from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on weekdays beginning Monday, according to a news release from Joe Legge, the county's public relations director.

Through a partnership with the Walker County Health Department, the new hotline will allow eligible residents to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine. In Georgia, the vaccine now is available only to healthcare workers, first responders, long-term care residents and adults 65+ and their caregivers.

When someone calls the hotline, a team member will take their contact and eligibility information. When more doses of a COVID-19 vaccine become available locally, those people will be contacted directly to schedule a vaccination appointment at the Walker County Health Department.

"Our Health Department staff has done an amazing job handling additional assignments related to COVID-19, in addition to their daily responsibilities," Shannon Whitfield, Walker County Board of Commissioners chairman, said in the release. "Now, with the state government asking them to also handle vaccines, this new hotline will ease the administrative burden of this task, so they can focus on getting shots in arms."

Hotline workers cannot give a timetable for when appointments might be available because of supply-and-demand dynamics that change daily, the release states.

"We hope the hotline, which is staffed locally, offers residents some peace of mind that they've followed the proper procedure to ensure their name is on the waitlist for the vaccine," Whitfield said.

People who previously submitted their contact information through the Northwest Georgia Department of Public Health online portal are already on the waitlist and do not need to call the hotline.

Those who have already received their first doses of the vaccine will be contacted directly to schedule an appointment for their second dose also do not need to call the hotline, according to the release.

- Compiled by Alex Chambliss

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