Getting an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine is difficult due to its demand, now it turns out that there are people who are hoarding appointments and reserving slots.
COVID-19 vaccine appointment hoarding
Local health departments stated that this is adding to the delays that they are experiencing in getting people vaccinated.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said that hoarding vaccine appointments is something that the Erie County Health Department has seen, with people scheduling numerous appointments for first-dose shots.
A spokesperson for Poloncarz calls the vaccine appointment hoarding both selfish and greedy. In a Twitter post, Poloncarz said that people have been scheduling numerous appointments with the county and other vaccine providers and distributors. One person even scheduled seven vaccine appointments.
A county spokesperson says that there have been people that are getting their shot and are not even cancelling the other appointments that they had set up previously. This then leads to appointment gaps and the slot is not given to those who needs it, according to MSN.
Other local health departments stated that they have seen hogging vaccine appointments too. Paul Pettit, the public health director for Genesee and Orleans counties, said that the appointment hoarding is a challenge and that they've talked about that in their daily press briefing that they have put out.
Pettit said that they wish to discourage folk from kind of vaccine hoarding and trying to sign up for multiple appointments.
If people are lucky enough and they can get through and they have a spot, health officials encourage them to stick to that spot and prevent setting multiple appointments.
Pettit says if you happen to schedule more than one vaccine appointment, it is best to pick one as soon as possible and make sure that the other vaccine appointments were cancelled.
Pettit stated that if you have signed up at a pharmacy, multiple pharmacies potentially one of the state-sponsored mass vaccination sites and the county site, they can't see that so health officials can only see their bucket at the moment. so it is more incumbent upon the people to make sure they are not doing that.
WGRZ reported that the county reminds people to not only show up for their first dose appointment, but also to get their second dose of vaccine.
Pettit says that when they notice people hoarding vaccine appointments, the waiting lists are used to make sure doses are not wasted.
Pettit said that what they see numerous times is that people get one vaccine appointment for three or four weeks down the line, hoping they can score an earlier schedule, but the reality is when you take up multiple spots, you are registered on all these different clinics.
COVID-19 vaccine situation
Health officials are stating that having a coordinated and effective vaccine appointment schedule is very important because they wish to broaden the type of people that can get the vaccine.
Now Pfizer is pushing for pregnant women to get the vaccine as well, after senior citizens and frontline workers as the government and CDC are aiming for herd immunity, according to NBC.
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Written by Sieeka Khan