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State health department to start calling people who aren't vaccinated

The goal is to get 70% of Colorado adults vaccinated with at least one dose by July 4.

COLORADO, USA — Colorado residents who aren't vaccinated can expect to see their phones light up next week with an unfamiliar number that does not, for once, belong to a robocaller.

Instead, it will be someone reaching out on behalf of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to provide information about COVID-19 vaccination, help with scheduling an appointment and answer questions about the vaccines.

The effort begins on Monday, June 21. According to a release from CDPHE, the purpose is to help reach Colorado's goal of having 70% of adults vaccinated with at least one dose by July 4. That goal is in line with President Joe Biden's National Month of Action, the release said, which is intended to increase vaccination rates across the country.

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“I’m excited that Coloradans will have a new opportunity to learn more about COVID-19 vaccines to help them make informed decisions about their health,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of CDPHE. “It’s normal to have questions about COVID-19 vaccines. These outgoing calls will provide Coloradans with accurate information and help them find a free vaccination appointment in their neighborhood if they choose to be protected from COVID-19.”

The release said the calls will be coming from COVAXCO, which is the call center that up until now has been dedicated to answering people's calls about COVID-19 vaccination in Colorado. 

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CDPHE will also send texts and emails to people between 18 and 29 years old who may be overdue for their second vaccine shot, according to the release. Similar messages were previously sent to people over 30. 

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The texts will go out from the number 45778 on June 22 and 25, and emails from ColoradoDPHE@teletask.com will be sent on June 24 to people who may be more than 42 days past their first dose. CDPHE said the messages will include information on how to find a vaccine provider to schedule a second shot.

The reminders will be sent in English and Spanish, the release said. Anyone who has additional questions after receiving a message can contact the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at 877-268-2926. Translation service is available in more than 100 languages.