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COVID-19

Should I Have My Name Removed From A Provider's Waitlist If I Get A COVID Vaccine Somewhere Else?

A person looks at instructions on how to register for a vaccine through Austin Public Health.
Julia Reihs
/
KUT
If you've registered to be put on one provider's vaccine waitlist, you likely won't be removed if you get vaccinated somewhere else.

People in Central Texas who want to increase their chances of getting vaccinated against COVID-19 may have registered with multiple providers administering the doses. When they finally do get a shot, what happens to their names on all the other lists?

By default – nothing.

About 500,000 people have registered to receive one of the 12,000 doses Austin Public Health, a major distribution hub, gets each week. If someone no longer needs to be in the system because they've gotten the vaccine elsewhere, they can’t remove themselves. Instead, they should simply not sign up for an appointment.

Since the system isn’t designed as a queued waitlist, if someone gets the vaccine from a different provider, "it wouldn’t impact the availability of vaccine appointments for others,” an APH spokesperson told KUT.

There are just over 31,000 people on the waitlist for Martin’s Wellness & Compounding Pharmacy in South Austin, according to pharmacist Kathryn Balli. She says it’s really slow to search for a name through the pharmacy's database, so it isn't making any updates.

“If we get more vaccine, we’ll e-mail [customers] … depending on what questions they answered to determine what group they’re in – like 1A or 1B,” Balli said. If someone no longer needs the vaccine, they can unsubscribe when they receive that automated e-mail or simply not make an appointment.

38th Street Pharmacy received 200 first doses in late December and 200 second doses in late January, primarily for health care workers. It now has roughly 30,000 people on its vaccine waiting list. Pharmacist and co-owner Jeffrey Warnken said the database filled up in less than two weeks, and the pharmacy had to stop people from signing up.

He said people can call to have their names removed, and hundreds have done so already.

Warnken said his pharmacy is set up to vaccinate 50 to 60 people a day – if it only had vaccines.

“I just wish the state would send me more," he said. "That’s all I can do – is keep requesting it.”

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