PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Leftover vaccine doses and no-show appointments are two side effects of the coronavirus vaccine when people are trying to get a seat.
KDKA’s Meghan Schiller spoke to local pharmacists who said it took some time, but they are now finding ways around the roadblocks.
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The refrigerator is ready, with syringes nearby, while pharmacist Jacki Bertola works to vaccinate her South Hills community.
“And our clinics are smaller too, so we’re closer to a few hundred, 500 at a time, we’re not doing thousands and thousands of vaccinations at the same time,” Bertola said.
She just posted a notification on Facebook to inform the community about a clinic in West Mifflin this Saturday.
Meghan Schiller from KDKA asked: “Have you heard of places with a lot of leftovers? Or have you ever had leftovers? “
“If we do that, we’re chasing people, and if that means going back to our pharmacy at 9am and calling people and stopping at their house on the way home, we’ll do whatever it is to keep us from doing it are Throw these cans away, ”said Bertola.
It is one of several Ma and Pop pharmacies in Pittsburgh that are still receiving supplies from the state.
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“People pretty much show up. I would say we have a no-show rate of less than 5 percent, ”said Bertola.
She tells KDKA that she only noticed no-shows at appointments for the second dose.
“Especially at that time, we pushed our 28-day people back into the 42-day window. We saw some of them getting a little scared and looking for the second shot as soon as possible.”
At the Pleasant Hills pharmacy, pharmacist Luke Taylor said when it comes to preventing leftover vaccine doses, everything is in the draw.
“What we’re going to do is at the beginning of the day when we expect 800 doses, we could create 200 shots just to get us started,” said Taylor. “And then we’ll take more shots and take more shots during the day.”
Taylor said they are using email registration and sending the invitations for the clinics closer to the date of the actual event.
“Previously it was just more work sending emails, giving these people a few days to reply, and sending more emails to fill the rest of the clinic,” said Taylor.
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UPMC and AHN, the city’s health giants, both strive not to waste a single dose. AHN said there are no shows from time to time but does not describe it as a major problem. When the patients arrive, AHN mixes and opens the necessary vaccine bottles. UPMC said it works to bring “the last drop” to patients.