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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

2-1-1 anticipates expanding services in the near future

In 2019, call specialists answered the phone 70,000 times. That jumped to 150,000 in 2020.

DES MOINES, Iowa — One of the resources to help Iowans, specifically those 65 and older, get information about the vaccine is the statewide 2-1-1 call center.

"In 2020, 2-1-1 took double the calls than it did in 2019. So, you can see that volume increase," explained Deann Cook, the executive director at United Ways of Iowa.

In 2019, call specialists answered the phone 70,000 times. That jumped to 150,000 in 2020.

With high volumes of calls, 75 new people have been added to keep up with questions dedicated to the vaccine.

“We have a call back feature," Cook said. "When you call in, it will offer you the opportunity to hold your place in line and receive a call back.”

If you're 65 and older, 2-1-1 can help schedule a vaccine appointment.

RELATED: Gov. Reynolds: All Iowans will be eligible for vaccine starting April 5 if federal supply continues as expected

RELATED: Wayne County opens up vaccine access, for now, to anyone who wants a shot

“We have call specialists that are trained, just to work with those seniors who haven’t been able to get their own vaccine appointment," said Cook.

The call center is anticipating in expanding their services to the general public in the near future. As of Wednesday, it's just for those 65 and older.

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