Midstate vaccine provider sees increase in no-shows for appointments

Penn State Hershey, which is averaging about 850 shots in arms a day, usually sees about 15 to 20 no-shows.

  • Julia Agos

(Harrisburg) – Penn State Health has been dealing with a rising number of no-shows to COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

The system is encouraging patients to cancel unwanted appointments — either online or by calling its help line at 1-800-243-1455.

Jeanette Gibbs, senior vice president at Penn State Health, said that will help cut down on wait times and wasted doses.

When people don’t show up, staff turn to a standby list to fill slots at the last minute.

Penny Cracas, right, with the Chester County, Pa., Health Department, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Dando, a school district nurse, at the Chester County Government Services Center, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, in West Chester, Pa.

Matt Slocum / AP Photo

Penny Cracas, right, with the Chester County, Pa., Health Department, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Dando, a school district nurse, at the Chester County Government Services Center, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, in West Chester, Pa.

“We have had our staff (at clinics) until 9 p.m. at night, waiting for people to come get vaccinated,” Gibbs said.

Penn State Hershey, which is averaging about 850 shots in arms a day, usually sees about 15 to 20 no-shows.

“It’s not significant. But it’s enough that we still have to make plans to call additional patients in. We are seeing that approximate no-show rate at each of our sites,” she said.

Gibbs says Penn State has no plans to deviate from Gov. Tom Wolf’s phased vaccine rollout. Those in phase 1C will be eligible to make an appointment starting Monday.

Penn State Health is averaging about 2,800 shots per day across all their sites.

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