Local providers improve access to second dose appointments

After many patients were unable to book second dose COVID-19 vaccine appointments online, providers are making changes.

Last week, KIRO 7 talked to patients who got their first COVID-19 vaccine at Overlake Medical Center. When they went online to book a second shot, there weren’t any available.

Since then, Overlake contacted hundreds of patients who got a first vaccine shot and scheduled them for second dose appointments.

To squeeze in all of those second dose appointments, Overlake had to postpone some patients scheduled to get their first dose. The appointments are delayed exactly two weeks, and the patients were contacted by Overlake.

Now, there’s a better understanding of what went wrong when it came to getting second doses. Some patients using Overlake’s computer system were so desperate to get vaccinated that they grabbed up second dose appointments hoping to get their first shot.

It wasn’t just Overlake. Other providers had the same problem.

“When they showed up at some clinics saying they were there with a second dose appointment not having received a first dose, in many cases, they were turned away. We really encourage people not to do that,” said Cassie Sauer, president of the Washington State Hospital Association.

Hospitals are also struggling to follow the state’s rule to use 95% of their vaccine within a week.

Many providers gave out doses designated to be second doses as first doses. Now the state is working to get enough second doses.

The hospital association hopes the second dose scheduling situation is resolved in the next two weeks.

The biggest problem remains a lack of vaccine supply.