CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Health officials in Hampton Roads are asking people to stop sharing vaccine appointment links.
“The links are for one person, for one use, and one dose,” explained Chesapeake Health Department Spokeswoman Kimi Stevens.
Last week in Norfolk, hundreds of people who booked appointments with shared links were told to get out of line and go home from a vaccine clinic.
It turns out, VDH officials have not yet fixed the glitch. In turn, people are still sharing their vaccine appointment links with others. They are posting the details on social media pages and neighborhood apps.
Stevens said, “People mean well because finding a dose of vaccine is a challenge.”
In Chesapeake, the Health Department is only receiving 2,800 vaccine doses a week.
Stevens said people who are using a shared link will not receive a vaccine. She said right now, workers and volunteers are vaccinating groups 1A and 1B and focusing on the senior population.
“When we are trying to allocate doses and try to find how many we need to have and then we have so many people for one, sharing one link. It is not the way it’s supposed to be.” Stevens explained.
On Tuesday, five nurses had to work overtime to contact dozens of people who used a link that wasn’t for them!
“They stayed until like 11 p.m.,” said Stevens. “They were trying to call, email contact people to cancel the appointment. If you received this link, if you got it off social media, we don’t have a vaccine for you because it wasn’t intended for you.”
Stevens said the VDH officials are still working to fix the problem. She said in the meantime, she tells people to please stop sharing the link!
She said, “When it will happen, we don’t know. They are changing the link to make it a single-use only so once one person uses it, it’s done."
Stevens said she’s heard some people are missing vaccine appointment emails and that when they find it in their spam and junk folder, their appointment has already expired.
If that has happened to you, Stevens said to contact the Chesapeake Health Department at (757) 382-8600.