By Elizabeth Hadley - KMVT
GOODING, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine are filling up as quickly as they are available, and that’s causing some to be frustrated.
Officials say some are double booking and that can cause double the work for providers.
“We understand what people are going through but we are just asking people to please follow the process,” said Shellie Amundson with North Canyon Medical Center in Gooding. “It will help every organization out there trying to get the vaccines out.”
When the phone lines opened at North Canyon Medical Center on Monday morning, COVID-19 vaccine appointments were all filled up before lunchtime.
“It’s literally within just a short couple of hours, probably two or three hours, appointments are filled and we turn the phone lines off,” Amundson said.
Each week, hospitals and clinics across the Magic Valley only get a certain number of vaccines, and that number is not known until late Friday afternoon or early Monday morning, which is why appointments are only booked one week in advance.
“So they don’t have to worry that they’re scheduled appointment with us is not going to be there, that would be the risk if we scheduled 3 or 4 weeks out,” Amundson said. “We would have no way of knowing if we were going to have a vaccine.”
What happens now is people start putting their name on multiple different waiting lists, making multiple appointments and traveling to different counties to try to get their dose.
“Please don’t reach out to a bunch of people and set up a bunch of appointments, because we have to prepare this vaccine in advance, that means thawing, that means potentially putting that vaccine dose at risk if you don’t show up,” said Brianna Bodily with the South Central Public Health District. “Now we haven’t had any situations with the health district where we lost even a single dose, but we don’t want to take that risk, and we don’t want to waste a vaccine appointment that somebody else could’ve made use of.”
Officials are urging everyone to be patient and mindful when it comes to making their appointment.
“We do urge everybody to take this very seriously, and to be careful to honor whatever appointment you set up, so if you do put yourself on our waitlist with South Central Public Health District, and you get an appointment somewhere else, let us know, so we can take you off the waitlist immediately.”