MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – Some people are failing to show up for their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, causing some administrative headaches.
But health officials maintain the vast majority of people are following through, although they say it is difficult to nail down precise numbers.
“It’s not a lot,” Alabama State Health Officer Scott Harris said during a press briefing Friday. “It’s not a big issue for us.”
Rendi Murphree, the top epidemiologist at the Mobile County Health Department said at least 80 percent of people – and possibly much higher – come back on the exact date they are assigned.
“This is a little bit of an elusive number, because if they don’t come back to us, we’re not sure if they just are on vacation and they’re gonna come back later; if maybe they snuck in and got their second does in another city or another state,” she said. “So, it’s a little tricky.”
Harris said state health officials redistribute vaccine doses if people don’t claim them within 42 days. But Murphree say the Mobile County department will provide the shot even outside that widow.
“There is no end date for that second doss,” she said.
Mike Burke, a spokesman for Ascension Medical Group, told FOX10 News that the return rate for people receiving their first doses at its clinic at Dayspring Baptist Church in Mobile has averaged 93 percent to 95 percent. If people do not show, he added, they can still schedule an appointment for the shot.
Gary Mans, a spokesman for the University of South Alabama Health System, told FOX10 News that the company tries to track people down with they miss the appointment.
“USA Health offers vaccine appointments through an online tool where those who are eligible sign up and let us know their preferred means of communication,” he said in a statement. “When someone scheduled for a first or second vaccine appointment does not show up, they are contacted to reschedule.”
USA Health has averaged 1,000 vaccines a day, Monday through Friday, at its drive-through clinic at the Mobile Civic Center. Since Dec. 15, it has administered more than 30,000 doses.