Brookshire Brothers has launched an online waiting list for East Texans wanting to get the coronavirus vaccine.
The online portal here opened Friday.
“We tried to make this process as easy as possible for our residents wanting to receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” Brookshire Brothers spokeswoman Melissa Crager said. “When our first vaccine allocation arrived at our pharmacies, we were inundated with a large volume of calls.
“Brookshire Brothers developed an online waiting list to streamline the process of getting people signed up and allow our pharmacists to focus on counseling patients, filling prescriptions and, of course, administering the vaccine.”
There is a list available for Texas residents and another for Louisiana residents, and there are more people on the waiting list than there is vaccine available, she said. This means people can still expect to wait weeks before receiving a phone call to schedule an appointment.
Brookshire Brothers asks people not to submit more than one form or call repeatedly to ease the burden on staff.
“We have had an enormous response to the online waiting list,’’ Crager said. ‘‘Within just a few days, we received nearly 30,000 online submissions. This is on top of the hundreds of names our pharmacies have gathered prior to the launch of the online form.”
The company has little insight into the state’s strategy, so they’re not sure how many doses they’ll get next or when they’ll come, Laura Edmundson, the director of clinical pharmacy programs for Brookshire Brothers, said.
“However, the state has ensured us that we will receive second-dose allocations so we are able to complete the vaccination series for those who have already received their first dose from us,” she said.
Those who don’t fit in the suggested categories to receive the vaccine at first should go to Brookshire Brothers’ website and click the “Receive COVID-19 Vaccine Updates” button for updates.
“This is specifically for the general population who want additional information about when the vaccine will be available for people under the age of 65, non-essential workers or those who do not have chronic medical conditions,” Crager said.
“We ask for your patience as our pharmacy staff is working diligently to vaccinate as many people as possible and while we wait for our next allocation of the vaccine.”
In the meantime, Crager encouraged people to continue wearing masks, maintain social distancing and wash hands often.