Who is handling the scheduling of vaccinations?

I’m not talking about determining the priority in which groups are ordered. I’m talking about scheduling individual people in a group.

I assume the nursing homes and facilities like that are handling the scheduling for their residents. And people who are in a priority category because of their profession will presumably have their scheduling handled by their employer.

But suppose you work in a small privately-owned business and you’re in a priority group because you’re classified as an essential worker. Or you’re a ninety-year-old who lives at home. Or a person with medical problems that place you at a higher risk.

Are you supposed to figure out that you’re in a higher priority group and contact somebody to be scheduled for a early vaccination? Who are you supposed to contact? Your regular physician? You county health department? Some other government agency? The location that’s performing vaccinations?

Or is there some agency which is contacting people and informing them that they are in a higher priority group and they should go get a vaccination at a certain location on a certain day?

In a well-governed country?

The answer varies.

If you are asking about the United States, the planning seems to be incomplete in most places.

Here is a partial exception, although they are violating national policy:

Seminole County Florida Appointments

Contact your county health department.

My parents were wondering the same thing. They’re a retired couple in their 80s, living in their own Connecticut home. Do they work through their primary care physician? Given the possibility of a bad reaction that might be best.

Just an update on this. I’ve found that one of the private health service systems in my area has apparently compiled a list of all of its patients who are sixty-five years or older and is working through that list contacting everyone and setting up vaccination appointments in one of their hospitals.

For places like Osco, Hyvee, Walgreens in Illinois, the answer appears to be just sign up on their website if an appointment is available. From family members who have gone to some of these places (Hyvee and Osco), no questions are asked beyond the check box on the website. But all but one were clearly eligible by age.

I just texted my mom, and she said she asked the pharmist what they were doing to confirm eligibility. He said nothing because they don’t have time.

Apparently in New York, pharmacies have a different policy than hospitals and medical offices. And state-operated sites have a policy different than either of those.

New York has categories for who is eligible to receive a vaccination. But it’s not a case of just being on the list and then being able to anywhere that has available vaccine. Most pharmacies seem to only be giving vaccinations to people who are eligible due to their age. Hospitals are vaccinating people who are eligible due to their age or to their occupation. There are also people who are eligible due to other medical conditions but they can only get vaccinated at one of the state-run sites.

Which created some difficulty for me because I’m in that group. I can’t find any pharmacy, hospital, or medical office that will vaccinate me. So I’m theoretically eligible to be vaccinated but it has to be at a state-run site. And while New York is operating sites all over the state, they are almost all completely scheduled up and are not accepting any new appointments. There is one site which still has vacant spots in its schedule and that appears to literally be the only place in New York state where I can be vaccinated.

It’s two hundred and forty miles away but I’ve made my appointment. The next open date is three weeks from now. I’m looking forward to the eight hour drive and hoping for good weather.

You have to fill out an online application in New York. They ask you to state your age, occupation, and whether you have one or more of the medical conditions on a list they give. They say that you will be asked to provide some written verification when you show up at the vaccination site.

I suppose it’s possible I could have claimed an eligibility I don’t have in order to get a spot at some place closer to my home. I could have, for example, claimed I was still working (my job would have qualified me for a vaccination but I retired years ago). But I feel it would be wrong to do so (even though I am legally qualified on other grounds) and I don’t know if they are actually doing the checks they claim to be doing online.

I think it’s fair to say the system in most places is totally messed up. Most of my family members who are eligible went over a hundred miles and got vaccinated in rural areas.

I don’t know whether appointments are more available because of limited internet coverage in those areas or because there is more vaccine hesitancy or some other reason, but I know a lot people don’t have means to just take a day to go 150 miles for the shot (two days really).

It’s definitely messed up. I’m in the great Commonwealth of Virginia, and I signed up for a county system, then two weeks later got bumped to a statewide system. Very limited private pharma availability right now. It effing sucks.

My mother is somebody who lives in one of those rural areas and she’s been unhappy about how people have been driving to her area from some city a couple hundred miles away to get vaccinated. She dropped the subject when she realized her son is now one of those people.

I’ve talked to other family members and the situation in Texas is apparently similar. The cities ran out of vaccine while some rural areas still had some. So the same pattern; people would drive a long distance to some small town to get vaccinated.

Have you checked your city/county health department? Some of them are running their own sites, which don’t necessarily appear on the state listing. I know the NYC run sites are vaccinating people with underlying conditions, so I imagine other local health departments are as well. Although three weeks doesn’t seem bad to me - I was eligible in January and wasn’t able to get an appointment until March 6 and as I kind of expected, I got my first dose through my employer before that ( this week, in fact).

My understanding (from others) is that they will allow you to self-certify if you are eligible based on a medical condition ( which I think is ridiculous) but if it’s based on employment, proof is required.

Yes, I checked with them. They’re all booked up.

In NYC, they don’t even want people going to different neighborhood.

A few day ago, I spent about 4 hours online and on phone calls to various doctors/agencies. The bottom line: If you can get the vaccine somewhere else, get it there.

Yup. Multiple times.

They have no vaccine; when they did have vaccine, twice very briefly in the last few weeks, all appointments were long gone before I heard about it. They redirect to a batch of other sites which have no vaccine, some of which redirect to the county site, and/or to each other.

Brand new: as of three days ago my county’s Office for the Aging has a telephone wait list! No appointments, mind, just a wait list. And to be eligible for the wait list, you need not only to be over 65: you need to not have any internet access. I understand why they’re doing that, but it doesn’t help me any.

My local pharmacy also has a wait list, and I was able to get on that one. They have no vaccine, however, and no idea when they’ll get any. And I don’t know whether vaccine will be allocated to the indies, or only to the big chains. (Yes, I’ve checked the big chains’ websites. No appointments available.)

I have a reasonable degree of faith that eventually I’ll be able to get vaccinated. But the process is a roaring mess.

I’m not condemning the system overall. The problem is they have a finite number of doses and a much larger number of people who want to be vaccinated. Which means the most organized system on earth is not going to be able to handle everyone.

True. But a better organized system would waste a whole lot less of everybody’s time; and allocate doses better in accordance with degree of risk.

I believe a better organized system would target those most likely to spread the virus rather than those who most at risk. Vaccinating one elderly person who is isolating protects one person. Vaccinating a person who is out and about interacting with multiple people gives you more bang for b your buck.