Monday, February 15, 2021

Multiple queues for Covid vaccines, as pharmacies join the supply chain

 It is good news that pharmacies are now being included among the places that can dispense Covid vaccinations, because not everyone is connected to another kind of health care provider.  But it will not end the congestion in getting appointments and delivering vaccines.

Having multiple waiting lists for appointments--i.e. for appointments at different pharmacy chains, health care providers, county vaccination centers--will add to congestion. People will have incentives to make appointments with more than one provider, because supplies at each provider are uncertain, so that some appointments may be cancelled due to shortages of vaccine on the appointed date.  After getting vaccinated, at least some people will neglect to cancel their other appointments, and so some doses of vaccine will not be delivered when scheduled. (Hopefully they won't be wasted).  So vaccinations will still be slower than we might hope.

Here's a CBS report:

Pharmacies now offering COVID-19 vaccines: Here's what you need to know BY KATE GIBSON

"The federal government this week started sending supplies of COVID-19 vaccines to 21 national drugstore chains and to independent pharmacies in a move to accelerate distribution. The program will be implemented in stages, based on available vaccine supplies, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


"National drugstore chains CVS Health and Walgreens are among those getting supplies of COVID-19 vaccines from the federal government. But getting a shot isn't as easy as walking through the pharmacy door. Consumers are instead being discouraged from flocking to the stores, but rather get in line by making an appointment online or the phone. "


Here's the CDC site:

Pharmacies Participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program

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