SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4) – Statewide healthcare providers are all experiencing “vaccine shoppers” — those who make multiple vaccine appointments and fail to cancel the others.
“It really creates a supply chain problem for all of our providers out there, and becomes exceedingly difficult to manage,” said Tom Hudachko, spokesperson for the Utah Dept. of Health.
He says many of the offenders are those who seek a second dose from a different location than their first.
“It just becomes difficult to manage the inventory when we rely upon someone coming back for their second dose,” said Hudachko.
In Salt Lake and Utah counties, for example, they’re seeing a handful of no-shows daily. Vaccine doses aren’t wasted — but the reality is that somebody who wanted to get vaccinated that day couldn’t get on the schedule.
“It essentially does hold that appointment slot, and make it unable for someone else to take that. Because then we would be anticipating that they would be showing up for their appointment. So, it does make it a challenge,” said Aislynn Tolman-Hill with the Utah County Health Dept.
This all comes against the backdrop that Utahns 16 years and older will be eligible for the vaccine starting Wednesday, March 24.
“We think that there will be about a million people who immediately become eligible to receive the vaccine. Obviously we’re not going to have a million appointments open next week to accommodate those individuals. So the first thing is that people need to be patient,” said Hudachko.
Into late March and April, Hudachko says the state expects to receive far more vaccines per week.