Significant number of vaccine call-backs are going unanswered. Will you lose your place on the waitlist?

Updated: Feb. 26, 2021 at 9:20 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - About 1.7 million Virginians are on the state’s vaccine pre-registration list. But health officials for the Richmond Henrico Health District tell NBC12 about 40-50% of people called by representatives this week were marked as “not answering.”

Generally, officials say 10-30% of calls make go unanswered. But the problem seems to be compounding, resulting in a great count in recent days.

So what happens if you miss your call-back for a vaccine appointment? Maybe you didn’t have reception, or you thought it was a spam call. Will you get pushed to the end of the line?

Richmond resident Pam Abrams, 70, is one of the people who missed the call from representatives to schedule her shot.

“My main concern was if I going to be put down at the bottom of the list,” said Abrams.

Abrams didn’t realize her cell phone had a setting that automatically sent supposed spam calls to voicemail. Her cell phone registered the health district’s calls as spam, three times in a row.

“I got to looking at a couple other calls that were rejected, and it was the same thing,” she said.

Officials say it hasn’t been uncommon for the health district’s numbers to show as spam on some caller ID’s, which they’re working to fix.

Representatives say anyone who misses the call will be called back at least one more time for that same event or appointment. You won’t lose your place in line. Call center operators will just call you for the next upcoming clinic or vaccine opportunity.

Officials recommend answering your phone for any call, even ones you think may be spam or numbers that don’t have a Virginia area code. Some representatives may be calling from out of state. Make sure any spam or call screening settings on your cell phone are turned off.

But be on guard. Vaccine reps reaching out will never ask for money or fees, your social security number or for health insurance identification numbers. They will ask for a home address, phone number and date of birth.

Also, keep an eye on your email for updates, including your spam folder. Make sure the email comes from an ‘’ address.

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