DENVER (KDVR) — Most Coloradans will still have to wait several months to get a COVID-19 vaccine, but there is a way to get bumped up in line at several hospitals and clinics without cheating the system.
Many hospitals have wait lists, or rapid on-call lists, for people interested in signing up for leftover COVID vaccines at the end of the day.
At SCL hospitals, anyone can sign up to be placed on the list, regardless of age or medical history. If there is an extra dose of vaccine at the end of the day, and you’re next in line, you’ll get a call telling you to immediately drive to the hospital.
“Those on the rapid on-call lists really need to be able to get to the clinic within 15 minutes,” explained SCL Health Director Jennifer Davis.
Kaiser Permanente hospitals in Colorado also have a similar list. Officials at that hospital system say earlier in the pandemic, many people were waiting outside hospitals and clinics at the end of the day hoping to possibly be called into the building to receive a leftover vaccine.
“Word travels fast. If people heard there was an extra dose, they would show up at the hospital and try and sign up, so we had to stop that pretty quickly,” said Kelli Kane, Chief Operating Officer at Kaiser Permanente.
Patients can now sign up on Kaiser’s list and be notified if extra vaccines are available each week. Those patients are prioritized, meaning people 65 and older currently and other eligible groups get the first opportunity to receive one of the extra doses.
Each vial of vaccine contains several doses of the vaccine, and the vaccine must be administered shortly after it’s opened.
“Sometimes we can get five doses out of a vial, sometimes it’s six doses out of a vial, so that’s not always predictable,” said Davis.
Leftover doses are also few and far between.
“I would say it’s less than 10 per day, in fact far less, only a couple, really,” said Kane.
However, it is one way healthy Coloradans can possibly receive the vaccine ahead of schedule.