The Prince George’s County, Maryland, Library System is now offering a way to get people linked to a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.
The “vaccine hunter” hotline is offered Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The hotline number is 240-392-3622.
Nicholas Brown, the library system’s chief operating officer for communication and outreach, said a soft launch of the effort has been successful and that offering a hotline helps bridge the digital divide.
“We have a significant rate of households that do not have home broadband access here in the county,” he said.
The service is offered in English and Spanish.
“Just about 20% of our residents speak Spanish, and it’s very important that we offer the information and the support in both English and Spanish,” Brown said.
“We’re helping people get onto five different preregistration lists,” said Brown. “We’re seeing all of the availability of sites regardless of their type.”
The hotline reviews vaccination options at retail pharmacies and grocery stores, such as Giant and CVS, as well as county and state-run sites.
The ability for callers to get direct information from someone on the other end of the phone is helpful, said Brown. He added that for people who work jobs that don’t have a lot of scheduling flexibility, the service is especially convenient.
“We had a law enforcement worker call us yesterday who can only, because of their duty schedule, get a vaccine on a Monday.”
Brown said being able to provide the service is exciting for the library system.
“This is talking about the library helping people get back to their lives and being able to do something as simple as hug their parents.”
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