Girl, 8, plagued by phone calls from strangers begging for Covid vaccine

An eight year-old girl has been plagued by at all hours of the day and night begging her for a Covid vaccine. Sophia Garcia and her mother Emily Lewis were mystified after hordes of people began ringing her hand-me-down iPhone to try and get a shot of the coronavirus injection.

The family, who live in Sullivan, Missouri, began investigating online – and discovered Sophia’s number was only one digit off that of the Arizona Department of Health. They moved from Arizona to Missouri several years ago, and kept the old number on the phone now owned by Sophia.

Lewis told KTVI: ‘It was a very long night on Thursday with her phone ringing all night long…Out of the blue and at all hours of the day night, 24-7,

Sophia and her family initially found the mix-up amusing, but the joke began to wear thin after their peace was disturbed by the constant calls and voicemail alerts. They also had to listen to distressed-sounding voicemails from people desperate to get a vaccine.

One 75 year-old woman could be heard to plead: ‘I’ve tried your website and it will not go through. It keeps coming back. Please help me.’

Sophia said of that woman’s plight: ‘It’s sad. She’s been trying for many days.’ The family have now come up with a solution that they hope will give them peace, while also redirecting people in genuine need of help to the right place.

That has seen Sophia record a voicemail message which re-directs callers, saying: ‘Hi, you’ve reached Sophia’s iPhone. If you’re looking for a COVID vaccine, their number is 602…’

The US has now recorded 25.1million Covid cases, and close to 420,000 deaths. New President Joe Biden has vowed to dole out 100million vaccine doses in his first 100 days in office.

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