MEMPHIS, Tenn. — "Sorry, the number you called is busy. Please try again later."
If you have tried calling the 222-SHOT number for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment in Memphis, you have probably heard that the line is busy and ultimately never speak with a real person.
A lot of people have been trying to make their COVID-19 vaccine appointment over the phone. David Mayhall received his second dose of the vaccine on Tuesday, but said it wasn't easy making appointments.
"At first using the phone line that they publicized and didn’t have a lot of luck doing that," Mayhall said.
Doug McGowen, the chief operating officer for the City of Memphis, said the city is working on getting a solution to assist with the high volume of calls they receive with 222-SHOT. He said thousands of appointments for the Moderna vaccine are still available through the phone number to sign up for this week and next.
“We anticipate there will be a professional call center that’s brought on board," McGowen said. "We’re evaluating several options right now so we can have more people, more hours of the day to be more responsive to those who need to use 222-SHOT in order to schedule their appointment.”
The digital divide puts thousands of people in Shelby County at a disadvantage in the race to get vaccinated, so a hotline that works would be an easy answer. Chrissy Castillo received her dose of the vaccine without a hassle, but knows of others who weren't as lucky.
"A lot of people don’t have internet access and with people that do it’s so frustrating," Castillo said. "It’s hard because maybe you’re not tech-savvy."
Despite the difficulty, both Mayhall and Castillo said it was all worth it.
"Don’t quit trying. At times it gets frustrating but do keep trying. We all need it."