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Local providers launch 1-833-8VAXNOW vaccine hotline and website to assist Fall River residents



Photo courtesy of Josh Souza via video

(FALL RIVER, MA- MAY 5, 2021)- At a press conference Friday morning, Mayor Coogan was joined by Tess Curran, Director of the City’s Health and Human Services, and Kim Smith, Executive Director of the United Way, to announce two new resources for Fall River residents seeking COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

In response to widespread sentiments of frustration and confusion regarding vaccine access among Fall River residents, the 1-833-8VAXNOW hotline and website have been created to provide centralized information about vaccine clinics in Fall River. Both the hotline, which is staffed from 12 -8 pm 7 days a week by multilingual Vaccine Navigators, and the website are operational as of May 5th, 2021.

Due to an increased quantity of vaccines in Fall River, residents should be aware that vaccine appointments are available on an almost daily basis and that any individual aged 16 or older is eligible to receive a vaccine. Fall River residents are urged to call 1-833-8VAXNOW or visit if they are seeking information about the COVID-19 vaccine.

These new tools were created through collaboration between local service providers, including the United Way of Greater Fall River, United Neighbors of Fall River, SSTAR and Healthfirst Family Care Center, together with the City of Fall River’s Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Mayor Paul Coogan.

“Between technology barriers, misinformation and the rise of mobile clinics, we know it can be hard for residents to find accessible information about vaccines in Fall River,” remarked Mayor Paul Coogan. “There was a need for a reliable, one-stop-shop for vaccine information. Now, residents can call a hotline to get assistance from a real person, or they can visit to find a streamlined list of clinics in the City. On the FRVAX website, you can search for clinics by day, vaccine type or provider- but as a whole it’s a very simple website and easy to use.”

United We Help Vaccinate Fall River call center aims to supplement existing services such as 211 and private websites over the course of the next 24 weeks, beginning May 5, 2021, by assisting as many individuals as possible in Fall River who are unable to navigate online portals with successfully scheduling their vaccine appointments. UWHVFR has hired and trained 8 multi-lingual staff for the Virtual Call Center. In addition, Language Line Services have been engaged to assist those whose native language is other than English, Spanish or Portuguese.

By calling 833-8VAXNOW (833-882-9669) appointment seekers can speak with multi-lingual Vaccine Navigators from 12-8 pm/7 day a week, to help with preregistration on the MA website or securing appointments at various local sites in the Fall River area. This may include seeking a specific appointment day or time, or even scheduling by vaccine type. “Having a local hotline and website will allow us to provide much needed support for Fall River families”, said Kim Smith, Executive Director of United Way of Greater Fall River.

United We Help Vaccinate Fall River is supported by a Vaccine Hesitancy and Equity grant from SouthCoast Community Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED). UWHVFR will operate in collaboration with community organizations and State Networks to assess the level of hesitancy, pinpoint the communities that need higher levels of engagement and encouragement, and develop a promotional campaign to mitigate uncertainty and hesitancy. As need dictates, they will also direct efforts to address vaccine hesitancy with outbound calls to help reschedule appointment no-shows and cancellations, as well as follow-up to outreach team households as needed.

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