The TriCounty Health Department (TCHD), which covers Daggett, Duchesne and Uintah counties, says an employee of a text alert system they hired went rogue and sent vulgar messages to residents.
In a Facebook post, the department said it joined with the Utah Department of Health hired Public Results, a private texting service, to send information out about how and where residents can get vaccinated for COVID-19.
They developed pre-scripted text messages and responses before the service started, but on Friday, a Public Results employee replied to 52 people with vulgar and offensive language.
The health department said they vetted the company and spoke with other agencies that had used the service before hiring them. Public Results sent a follow-up message to those who received the inappropriate texts, apologizing and saying the messages were sent by a "bad actor" and were "in no way reflective of the professionalism and mission of TCHD."
UDOH and TCHD have since canceled the campaign and fired the company.
"As important as the vaccines are to the health of our community, we will find other ways to continue to educate the public as to the importance of receiving the vaccine," the health department wrote on Facebook.
FOX 13 received a screenshot from one of the recipients: