Nashville has launched a “standby list” to make sure no COVID-19 vaccine goes to waste. It’s open to anyone who can make it to the Five Points area of East Nashville in 30 minutes.
The state’s health commissioner has called these rapid response lists a “best practice” after the city of Jackson, Tenn., started a similar program to deal with leftover vaccine at the end of the day. As they widen the vaccine distribution to seniors, health departments around the country are struggling to make sure they thaw the right amount to use every dose, since they can’t be saved for the next day.
At most, Nashville says it will have four doses a day, given the number of doses per vial. The Metro Public Health Department is requiring people to sign up every day to make sure people are available. They’re asked to email [email protected] and include a phone number, with instructions to answer any call from an unknown number around 2:30.
It’s at that time public health nurses will determine whether there will be extra doses and randomly draw names to summon for their shot. Recipients do not have to qualify by age or occupation, and they will be notified how to get their second dose a few weeks later.
Tuesday will be the first day of operation for the standby list, but it won’t be live every day since the vaccination schedule is constantly in flux.
Statewide, most counties are vaccinating people 75 and older, but some have even moved on to vaccinating the 1b group which includes teachers. Tennessee has created a centralized website for checking vaccine availability and distribution phase, but it’s not as up-to-date as information coming directly from local health departments primarily on social media.