Pharmacies and health officials are asking Americans who received their Covid-19 vaccines to cancel the other vaccines they reserved.
As vaccine eligibility expands and more places offer vaccines, many people sign up for multiple appointments and do not back off the ones they don’t need. The resulting influx of absences is forcing vaccine providers, from pharmacies to community clinics, to seek last-minute replacements so that doses are not wasted.
In North Carolina, a county health director has been going door-to-door to find candidates for lost spaces. A Midwest retailer closed its waiting list and tasked employees with cutting out people who had multiple appointments. On social media, it is increasingly common to see posts from health departments offering vaccinations to anyone who may appear at a vaccination site.
“Create a mad rush at the end of the day,” said Raynard Washington, deputy health director for the Mecklenburg County Health Department in North Carolina. Up to 10% of people don’t show up at county-run vaccination sites, or hundreds of doses a week, in part because they don’t cancel multiple appointments.
Citations remain difficult to score in many parts of the country even though the overall vaccine supply and rate of inoculation is improving. Some people make multiple reservations in hopes of getting vaccinated sooner or sometimes because they don’t receive or see confirmation emails, according to pharmacies and community vaccination sites. Others receive injections at emergent vaccination events before scheduled appointments and do not notify providers.