DENVER — There’s no doubt the COVID-19 vaccine is just about the hottest thing on the market right now. Everyone wants one. But not everyone can get one.
Vaccines are in short supply, with many people who qualify for the vaccinations unable to get them. Doctors want to make sure every dose is used, even if that means calling someone and telling them to race to the hospital in the next 15 minutes for an appointment.
"We are moving as fast as we can to get the vaccine out to everybody," said System Director of Pharmacy Services for SCL Health, Jennifer Davis. "I spend a lot of time thinking about how we’re going to vaccinate everyone."
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Right now, Davis is in charge of getting shots into as many arms as possible.
"We want to get it to people as quickly as possible," Davis said. "Every day that goes by is a time that someone might get exposed to COVID."
For six weeks, the hospital system has been vaccinating thousands of people in Colorado. At the end of every day, there are often vaccines that are about to go unused.
As the number of healthcare workers in need of a vaccine dropped, it became harder for the hospital to find people on short notice to come to get the vaccine before the doses expired. In a year when a lot of strange words like quarantine and social distance have become commonplace, SCL Health came up with another: rapid on-call list.
"We try to plan as much as we can to not have any vaccine, however inevitably, there are some cancellations or other things that happen," Davis said. "In the beginning in December, when none of our healthcare workforce was vaccinated, it was relatively easy to find someone within our hospitals who still needed to be vaccinated. If we had a dose left at the end of the shift, we could pull in the nearest nurse or physician and give that vaccine to them."
If there are extra vaccines at the end of the day, people who qualify for the vaccine and are on the list will get a call telling them to be at the hospital in the next 15 minutes.
On average, SCL Health said they only have about five doses left over every day.
The pilot program from SCL Health started this past weekend at Good Samaritan Hospital in Lafayette. The rapid on-call list will expand to all SCL hospitals this week.
>> You can learn more about how to sign up here.
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