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Serrita Daniels and all our call center team members are here to help you find COVID-19 vaccine and end this pandemic.

Meet Serrita Daniels. Since joining Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s call center team last July, Daniels has helped thousands of Pierce County residents find out where they can get tested for COVID-19 and how to find vaccine.

Daniels is a true believer in the power of the human voice.

“No one wants to call a number and get directions from a computer,” says Daniels. “Sometimes you need to hear someone say, ‘How can I help?’”

And helping is exactly what Daniels does. “People call the Health Department because we are their best resource for reliable public health information.”

Daniels says she and fellow call team members work hard to answer most questions that come into the call center, or she says, “We find someone who can answer a question.”

The call center team does not give out medical advice, but they can give guidance about testing locations and where to get vaccinated. They can also share resources on where to find assistance with food, finances, or rental help.

“I like to let them know I am not only hearing what they are saying, but I am listening as well.”

Daniels’ job as Public Concerns Call Unit Lead in the Communicable Disease Control Division has her talking to hundreds of Pierce County residents every day. The call center receives anywhere from 100 to 300 calls a day.

The Health Department also makes outbound calls.

This past week the call center team made more than 700 outbound calls connecting Pierce County residents who may be homebound with mobile vaccine teams.

Daniels says, “You can hear the relief in people’s voice when we tell them, ‘Don’t worry. We can bring the vaccine to you.’” 

Daniels says she does her best to stay on the phone until she can help resolve a caller’s problem.Serrita3

“We had a caller whose mother was a very high-risk patient, and she’d been trying to schedule a vaccine appointment without success. When we helped, the tears flowed.”

Daniels says one of the most memorable questions she received came from a lady whose boyfriend tested positive for COVID-19.

The caller explained to Daniels she was coming home from a two-week business trip. She asked Daniels if “greeting” her boyfriend hello for less than 15 minutes would be safe.

Daniels cautioned her not to, explaining that COVID-19 is spread through personal contact.

“It was cute,” says Daniels, “because she really missed him and wanted to hug and kiss him hello but couldn’t.”

Daniels says the best part about her job is helping people get back with their loved ones.

“We all want our lives to get back to ‘normal’ and to see our friends and family without the fear of getting the coronavirus. It’s good we can give correct and clear guidance on how people can get vaccine and take care of themselves.”

After a year of listening to people’s worries and fears about COVID-19, Daniels says it feels good to offer a solution.

“My family is fully vaccinated,” says Daniels, noting the stress level of her own parents has gone down.

Daniels encourages others to get the vaccine or at least reach out to a healthcare professional if they have questions.

As Daniels says, “COVID-19 vaccine is always free, whether you have insurance or not. If you need a ride to your appointment, we can help.”

Call (253) 858-7088 or visit atstrans.org. Pierce Transit also gives free bus rides to people going to vaccine appointments. Call (253) 581-8000 (press 1, then press 1 again) or visit piercetransit.org.

If you can’t easily leave your home and need help getting the vaccine, Daniels and the call center team can help with that, too! Call us at (253) 649-1412, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 7 days a week.

Our call center is at your service.

Along with getting you onto the help list, our call center also works as a five-star concierge service for those seeking the vaccine. Have trouble with computers? They can help you register for an appointment. Trouble finding a second dose? They can help. Someone needs an interpreter? They can help. Can’t leave home? Or need transportation to a vaccine event? They can make those arrangements, too.

You can sign up online for our help list or call us at (253) 649-1412, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 7 days a week.

You’ll be able to select from a set of preferences, including how you want to be contacted, any barriers you face, even the kind of vaccine you want or whether you prefer drive-thru or walk-up events. Once you’re signed up, you’ll get invitations to vaccine opportunities and services based on your needs, availability of doses, and your position on the list.

Not every job includes a hundred heartfelt “thank yous” a day, but Daniels’s job does. Every one of them is well-deserved.