Manatee County prepares to vaccinate more seniors on Thursday

The random selection process will book appointments for Manatee County seniors

Manatee County Vaccination Standby Pool

MANATEE, Fla. (WWSB) - If your name is in the standby pool for the coronavirus vaccine, Manatee 311 is making calls.

“Last night we received 1,000 doses of the vaccine and our 311 team is prepared to start pushing those appointment opportunities again,” said Public Safety Director Jacob Saur.

The number to look out for is (941) 742-4300. Representatives will be randomly selecting those eligible from the standby roster. If they miss the call the first time, they will try again before the name goes back in the waiting pool.

900 appointments will be made today for Thursday. The remaining 100 vaccines will go to health care workers. As of Tuesday, 95,600 seniors have registered for the standby pool.

Hundreds of these calls were made from the 311 call center in Manatee County on Tuesday to schedule appointments from the standby pool.

“You can hear the happiness on the other end. My eyes got watery I was like ok I’m working, I have to register the person I want to make sure I give them their information so I had to hold out tears. “I was overjoyed to listen to the other side how happy, how hopeful, they were so happy,” said 311 Call Center Operator, Jeannette Holohan.

The 311 call center is usually home to four employees manning the phones but these days it looks a little different.

“We have a team of what we call 311 surgers. They’re county employees that have offered to help at any time we have an emergency or a need like that,” sad the Chief of Emergency Communications in Manatee County, Stacy Needhim.

Today, nearly thirty people are helping answer and make calls from the center.

“There isn’t a dead day. We’re averaging probably about 2,400 calls a day,” said Needhim.

Tuesday it was more than that since they were making calls non stop to set up appointments.

“They’re all happy that we’re calling them and actually giving them appointments. They’re very excited. My last caller just said I made his year,” said the supervisor for 311, Marcia Bacon.

Residents of Manatee County ages 65 and older can register for the open-ended waiting list online at vax.mymanatee.org, or call 311 during weekday business hours.

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