Amarillo doctors search for COVID-19 vaccine candidates to use extra doses

Amarillo doctors search for COVID-19 vaccine candidates to use extra doses

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Amarillo doctors are experiencing extra doses of COVID-19 vaccines and are doing whatever it takes to use every dose for the residents in the Panhandle.

Mark Packard was walking his dog Monday night when he received an unusual call from his doctor asking if he could immediately rush to the hospital.

“He called my cellphone and said this is doctor do and said there’s a vaccine available at Dr. Biggs office on the fourth floor of my office building and if you can go right now, it’s available, so I very quickly changed clothes and drove over there,” said Mark Packard, who received the COVID-19 vaccine Monday.

Dr. Do had to find someone in a matter of minutes who could rush to the hospital and take their last dose of the vaccine before it went to waste.

“Mark, you’ve got to run now, just go fast, drop whatever you have to go get the shot,” said Dr. Do, internal medical specialist at Amarillo Medical Specialists.

Packard ended up receiving the vaccine 20 minutes after the phone call.

These types of urgent calls have become regular for Dr. Do and staff at the Amarillo Medical Specialists.

Due to canceled vaccine appointments and extra doses in the Moderna vile, there have been some nights where they are left with six extra doses.

“Once you open the bottle, you have to use it within six hours, so we don’t have an overnight time period. We have to give it the same day, that’s why we’re scrambling to give the dose,” said William Biggs, managing partner at Amarillo Medical Specialists.

Dr. Do has sometimes stayed at the office until 9:00 p.m. trying to find someone who would be willing to receive the vaccine on short notice.

He goes down the list of patients with medical conditions, the elderly, to people with underlying conditions.

He also has to make sure they live close enough to be able to get there in hours.

“I have all the people that would qualify for the shot but they would live about an hour or at least 45 minutes away and then have to drive through the traffic, and so that would take them a long time and get here. So, you’ve got to find the one with the conditions that could get to the office as soon as possible,” said Dr. Do.

The Amarillo Medical Specialists have been able to not waste one vaccine yet.

“That is the approach everywhere, for people who are running vaccine programs. It’s an all hands-on deck, we’re going to do anything possible to not waste the vaccine,” said Rodney Young, chairman of the family and community medicine at TTUHSC.

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