Vaccine Central

No-show vaccine appointments becoming a problem in Hamilton County

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — People not showing up for their scheduled COVID-19 vaccine appointments is becoming more frequent in Hamilton County.

Health officials said as more clinics open, people are finding ways to get their shot sooner but not canceling their original time slot.

More than 50 people missed appointments in one day last week.

For now, the health department is finding ways to follow up with every person scheduled but the county’s emergency preparedness coordinator, Christian Walker, said that can’t go on.

“We’re not used to working in a competitive market, I’m not use to having to fight for clients like a business normally would,” Walker said.

He added that they are making several phone calls every day to remind people of appointments or to find out why they didn’t show up.

“That’s the critical thing for us, is that vaccine management component. For us, it’s fine if you got in somewhere. We just don’t want to risk losing that dose that could go into somebody else’s arm,” Walker said.

Because they caught onto the pattern early enough, Walker said the health department has not had to throw out any doses. If you do end up finding a better appointment, Walker asks that you call 211 to cancel your old one.

He understands the process can sometimes be long, but said it will make a huge difference.

“There’s still a lot of people that use 211 for vaccine registration, for changes, for cancelation, so it’s not an easy task. It requires some patience on the client’s part, but the back end of that is they’re helping save that vaccine for somebody else,” said Walker.

Due to the increased number of no-shows, Hamilton county is in the process of creating a local cancelation hotline. Right now, the only way to make changes to your appointment is through the state.