By Shereen Siewert

Health officials are cautioning residents after receiving multiple reports of a suspicious text message informing residents they are eligible for a free COVID vaccine Aug. 18 at the Ruth Gilfry Center.

The message was not generated from health officials in Portage County or elsewhere and has been reported to police as well as the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Anyone who received the message should not respond, and anyone who did schedule an appointment through the service will find their appointment is not valid, officials said.

The COVID-19 vaccine is free to everyone and available to everyone ages 18 and older. The Pfizer vaccine is also available for children age 12 and older.

Search, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find additional locations  near you.