COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–The Ohio Department of Health revealed nearly 1,300 unusable doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday. Now providers are answering questions about how they are handling any extra doses they may have.
“Extra doses are probably the most sought-after topic right now,” said Jangus Whitner, the PrimaryOne Health Director of Pharmacy Services.
With the COVID-19 vaccine in short supply, finding an open appointment has become a challenge for some people.
“I found out that there was a pop-up out here, so I tried to sign-up, but it didn’t go through. So, I came out just in case it did go through, and they said it was full,” one patient said on Thursday.
After being put on the waiting list, she received a call back an hour later. The reason was they had an extra dose.
“I was very excited,” she said.
Extra doses have become a lifeline for seniors eligible for the vaccine.
Gail McDonald and her sister benefitted on Thursday from the extra supply. Her decision to get the vaccine was about sustaining the virus’s downward trajectory in Columbus.
“The numbers are going the right way now. They’re beginning to slow down somewhat. And if anyone can add to that, we need to try to do that,” McDonalds said.
Providers making sure this precious resource doesn’t go to waste by using lists.
“We have a waitlist of people, a stand-by list that’s prioritized based on age and high-risk conditions,” Whitner said.
PrimaryOne Health will call people on the waitlist when there are canceled appointments, no shows, or if they have extra doses.
“We navigate that list to make sure we’re calling and trying to stay within that first Ohio Department of Health’s tiers for Phase 1B. This week it’s 75-and-above,” said Whitner.
After exhausting that list they will turn to fellow frontline workers who may have missed out.
“We try to keep within the previous phase as well. And so we’ve vaccinated other frontline workers who may not have gotten a chance during the first weeks of Phase 1A,” Whitner said.
Whitner explained on Thursday they vaccinated between 150-160 people. The number of individuals scheduled is based on how many doses they receive for a given clinic.