How 4 pharmacy chains, vaccine sites are preventing wasted doses

Pharmacists are urging Americans not to double book COVID-19 vaccine appointments and to cancel any extra ones they have, as subsequent no-shows burden their busy staff and slow down the vaccination process, The Wall Street Journal reported April 7.

Pharmacies and vaccine sites told the Journal many Americans are scheduling multiple vaccine appointments because they are hoping to get vaccinated sooner, didn't receive or view confirmation notices, or received a vaccine at a pop-up site and failed to cancel their appointment. Americans are also experiencing difficulty when trying to cancel their appointments because they couldn't reach staff or were not permitted by the scheduling platform.

Raynard Washington, PhD, Mecklenburg County (N.C.) Health Department's deputy health director, told the Journal the county now overbooks appointments by about 10 percent, as that's about the percentage of scheduled appointments that result in no-shows that leave staff scrambling to find replacements before the doses are no longer safe to administer.

Below are four ways pharmacy chains and vaccine sites are preventing no-shows, according to the report:

  1. Albertsons says its scheduling systems detect duplicates and permits only one appointment per email address.

  2. Using tight time frames as a way to ensure people show up to their appointments, SpartanNash opens up its time slots about four days before appointments.

  3. A mass vaccine site at Detroit's Ford Field started overbooking appointments to ensure as many people as possible receive shots after 15 percent of appointments result in no-shows on its first day.

  4. Hartig Drug Stores closed its waitlist to eliminate duplicate appointments and got rid of nearly 40 percent of appointments after cross-referencing names on immunization records.

More articles on pharmacy:
Majority of people delaying their COVID-19 vaccination want J&J's shot
Several countries restrict AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine use
Scientists working on ideal COVID-19 vaccine: Single dose, room temp & self-administered


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