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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage communities across the globe, people anxiously await their turn to receive the vaccines being rolled out in certain areas of the world. In the U.S., vaccines have been distributed based on eligibility in most major cities, and those who still aren’t eligible, or are eligible but can’t get a vaccination appointment, wonder when it’ll be their time to get the vaccine.

There’s been widespread discussion on the difficulties of obtaining a vaccination appointment in various areas of the U.S., as people have been refreshing their browsers and making a job of trying to snag their first vaccination injection as soon as it’s available.

Vexing vaccinations

While the rollout of vaccinations in the U.S. has many Americans rejoicing, the vaccination has its own series of issues. 

Many Americans don’t yet qualify for the coronavirus vaccine, while other eligible individuals can’t seem to lock down an appointment. What’s even more concerning is the discussion surrounding the expiration date of the coronavirus vaccine.

It’s been claimed the coronavirus vaccine has an expiration date, meaning if appointments to distribute aren’t organized efficiently, unused coronavirus vaccine samples may go to waste. What could be worse, in the world of 2021, than thousands of doses of the coronavirus vaccine going to waste? Thankfully, there is a new rollout in place meant to deter this kind of waste.

Dr. B

USA Today told its readers about Dr. B, a program meant to text users when a coronavirus vaccine is in danger of expiring, so it can be put to use if a user manages to get to a vaccination site in time.

Over half a million users have signed up for Dr. B, and the site is helping people in Arkansas & New York get soon-to-expire doses of the coronavirus vaccine. However, Dr. B is said to spread across thirty states in the upcoming weeks, along with 200 vaccination sites. All users need to do is to key in via Dr. B by signing up.

After users sign up for Dr. B online, they’re asked to give the same health information they’d give their local health department in determining their eligibility for the coronavirus vaccine. 

Then, users are put in order based on eligibility, with those with more pressing health issues being prioritized. The difference between Dr. B and other tools used to help people get the vaccine is that Dr. B deals only with doses of the coronavirus vaccine that would otherwise go to waste.

Time crunch

If an available dose is in danger of going to waste, Dr. B texts the most prioritized user in reach of a vaccination site, and they’re given fifteen minutes to determine whether or not they can make it to the site in a certain amount of time. If a user accepts the challenge to make it to their vax site, they’ll have two hours to make it there. 

Cyrus Massoumi, Dr. B’s founder & former CEO of popular medical appointment booking website ZocDoc, says Dr. B is designed to make sure no dose goes to waste. 

Because Dr. B is focused on putting the vaccine to use during the vax’s common time crunches, a person who is not prioritized can get a vaccine if they’re in the right place at the right time, when no prioritized people can make it to a vaccination site.

As the process of rolling out the coronavirus vaccine continues to develop its own complications, users have taken to Dr. B as the latest venue to try to grab a vaccination appointment, whether or not you’re prioritized.

It’s hard to say how long the process of vaccinations will take, but we can only imagine Dr. B will get more doses out and put some otherwise wasted vaccines to good use.

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