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Pharmacy leader: cancel unneeded vaccination appointments

DES MOINES — COVID-19 vaccine appointments are now open to all Iowans ages 16 and up, but as demand still far outpaces supply, it’s led some Iowans to make multiple appointments as they search for one closer to home.

Kate Gainer, CEO of the Iowa Pharmacy Association, says when people don’t cancel unwanted appointments, it can lead to wasted doses. “It does create some workflow concerns. It creates concern over waste and having doses that have a very short window of time when they can be used,” Gainer says. “Those no-show appointments if not canceled, are difficult to get rescheduled.”

When people schedule an appointment for a first dose at a pharmacy far from their home, they’ll shop around for a second dose nearby, but Gainer says this causes supply issues for pharmacies.

“Pharmacies receive their allocations of the vaccine for second doses based on how many first doses they get,” Gainer says. “Every dose is reported and those shipments are based on how many given doses are reported.”

Gainer says Iowans should try to go to the same location for both of their vaccine doses, and they should cancel any appointments they will not use to ensure doses are not wasted.

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