vaccine distribution

What is Santa Clara County's Protocol for No Shows to Vaccine Appointments?

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As NBC Bay Area was the first to report Monday, more than 4,500 people in Santa Clara County did not show up to their COVID vaccination appointments last week, prompting the question of what the county’s protocol is in such events.

The county said it does not have a waitlist, but it has protocols in place to make sure vaccines are not wasted.

Sandy Wolf of San Jose just got his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday.

“I lucked out,” he said.

But last week, more than 4,500 who were lucky enough to get an appointment at a county-run site did not manage to show up.

“I think it’s totally irresponsible,” Wolf said. “People are dying, people need the shots badly. I have friends who still can’t get the shot, so I think it’s reprehensible if people don’t show.”

Because of the no shows, on Saturday the county had 300 extra doses that had already thawed and were set to expire the next day. So it put out a call to the public and county workers to come get a shot.

Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez said part of the problem is people are vaccine shopping and booking more than one appointment to try and get the shot as soon as they can.

“It’s way too many no shows,” she said. “We ask that as soon as you have another appointment, cancel the old one because we have so many people clamoring to get in, who all want that coveted spot.”

But some wonder why the city wouldn’t have a list of qualified backup candidates on a waitlist.

While county officials say the county does not currently have a waitlist system in place, they do attempt to anticipate no shows and add extra appointments to account for them.

NBC Bay Area reached out to all other Bay Area counties with the same question. So far, only Solano County has responded, saying it’s created a waitlist to contact qualified candidates, and the process is working well.

Santa Clara County said that none of the extra vaccine doses went to waste.

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