I need to tell you all about a change in method going forward. Our waitlist has had overwhelming response. As of today we have over 3,000 people who have submitted requests to be vaccinated. This is a combination of two lists that our website has hosted (the first one couldn't handle the volume so we had to switch to a Google Form) as well as the list of people who call/walk-in to our pharmacy and ask to be on the list, many with little to no access to the internet. To date, we have received (and immediately administered) a little over 300 vaccines and we expect to receive about 100 1st doses a week moving forward if the supply chain holds up. The current method is not sustainable.
With all the uncertainty, and the monumental challenge this is for small pharmacies throughout the state, pharmacies in Pulaski County are beginning to move away from the wait list solution. What we have agreed on doing instead will allow participating pharmacies in the county to handle the workload in concert with more efficiency, while helping manage expectations. With the help of the governor's new vaccine distribution guy, we are expecting to know our shot allocations for the upcoming week each Friday. We will then use our respective online scheduling tools over the weekend to allow folks in the appropriate phase to set their appointments. The schedule will be shared via a link ***Please continue to follow these posts and/or our Facebook page as this will be how you know the scheduling is open and to whom it is open for the coming week.**** Upon receiving your 1st dose you will be given information for scheduling your 2nd dose appointment for the return date on the back of your COVID vaccine reminder card.
So what will happen with you who have signed up over the various platforms these last 3 weeks?
We are going to ease in to this new plan. We will continue to intentionally help folks who came to us with no skills with or access to the internet get their appointments scheduled manually. We will continue to call/email our existing patients in appropriate phases to help schedule appointments. Those will take a portion of the available doses each week. The rest of the appointments will be open on a first-come, first-served basis for patients in eligible phases. If you are the family member of someone who is eligible in the 70+ category who cannot use the internet to sign themselves up PLEASE be on the lookout for the schedule to open.
On a very serious note: Appointments will be screened for eligibility. Please don't make extra work for us by trying to schedule yourself out of turn or misrepresent your classification per ADH guidelines. I did not make the rules, but I don't intend to ignore them. We've had some folks already trying to take advantage of the pandemonium and get their shot out of turn. Ineligible appointments will be cancelled. I know its an important deal, but please don't make us (me) police you. I'm working enough overtime as it is.
Lastly, as glad as I am that we get to be a part of the vaccine solution for our community I am also very saddened by the way some folks have been treating our team members on the phone or in the store. We are doing this to serve you. I don't have a single employee who hasn't had to work extra just to keep this effort going. We are in the trenches of a multi-level, government-run effort. We have zero control over when we get vaccines or how many we receive. Please be kind. Please don't badger us. Same goes for other pharmacies you may be in communication with. We are all doing the best we can. We are all trying to serve our patients with regular pharmacy needs as well as this COVID vaccine effort. We are all pretty wrung out at the end of each day. Community pharmacies are going all out right now. Thanks to everyone who has sent supportive messages to us. It really is a joy to serve. We hope to care for as many of you as possible in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.