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Hamilton County Health Dept. struggles with vaccine no-shows, establishes cancellation hotline

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After months of patients eagerly waiting to receive their COVID-19 vaccine, the Hamilton County Health Dept. announced it has noticed a sharp increase in the number of people who do not show up for their vaccination appointment.

HCHD Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Christian Walker said the department is averaging up to 50 no-shows a day.

“Unfortunately, that puts us in a bad position as we don’t want to risk losing a dose because we opened a vial and don’t have an arm to put it in,” Walker stated.

More COVID-19 vaccination clinics continue to open, allowing people to schedule a new appointment sooner than their previously scheduled appointment, leading to the no-shows. The HCHD said the only way to cancel an appointment is by calling the state’s 211 number, which can lead to long wait times. So, HCHD volunteers have started calling patients on each day’s schedule to confirm the appointment, but that has been time consuming. As a solution, the department then established a COVID-19 vaccination appointment cancellation hotline.

“We’re hoping this hotline will make cancelling an appointment much less time consuming,” Walker stated. “And we’re hoping those who need to make a cancellation will take the time to do so, so we can ensure that everyone who wants a vaccine gets one.”

Patients will still expect either a call from (317) 776-2585 or a text from 78015 the week prior to their appointment to confirm their schedule. However, if they need to talk to someone about the appointment or cancel the appointment, they should leave a voicemail including their name, date of birth, phone number and appointment date at (317) 776-8566.


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