Island Drug receives extra vaccine in mistake

Instead of 200 doses that were expected last week, Island Drug received 2,000.

A mistake in the number of COVID-19 vaccines received last week contributed to a spike in more people who got doses in Island County.

Instead of getting 200 doses, Island Drug received 2,000 on Monday, Feb. 1.

Director of Operations Andy Plumlee said the pharmacy was told it would only receive 200 vaccines, even though it had made the request for a much bigger number.

When the error was discovered and reported to the state, Island Drug was instructed not to send the doses back.

Instead, it was required to use up all 2,000. State policy, Plumlee explained, requires that 95 percent of any vaccines received must be administered within seven days.

As a result, the Oak Harbor pharmacy managed to give enough shots to use up the supply by Thursday.

“Our goal was to report to the state that we exhausted all 2,000 vaccines in the hope that they would send more to us,” Plumlee said, but added that it’s likely a mistake that won’t happen again anytime soon.

Island Drug’s reaction to the vaccine surplus garnered a variety of reactions, most of which happened via social media.

Some criticized the pharmacy’s handling of the situation, which rewarded some walk-ins with a vaccine even if they didn’t have an appointment set for that week, and many people who did have appointments were out of luck.

Plumlee repeatedly said he understood the frustration.

An effort was made to move up as many vaccine appointments as possible, but the pharmacy relied on an honor system that depended on people being honest about whether they had appointments.

If people said they had an appointment scheduled at some point in time with Island Drug, they were able to get vaccinated that day.

“We never advertised that, we never promoted that,” Plumlee said of the number of walk-ins that showed up on Thursday and waited in the rain.

The eligibility to receive a vaccine, however, was thoroughly evaluated.

Copies of photo identification were taken to verify if people were of the appropriate age group to be receiving the vaccine.

Health care workers were not able to get a shot unless they proved it with adequate certification.

Nearly 900 people were vaccinated on Thursday, with the help of just six staff members.

“Retail pharmacies are proving that they can get these things done as quickly as possible,” Plumlee said.

More in News

Patriots snarl traffic | Island Scanner

Saturday, Sept. 4 At 10:58 p.m., a caller at a Bells Beach… Continue reading

Benner
Whidbey News-Times, South Whidbey Record welcome new publisher

RJ Benner has been named the publisher of the Whidbey News-Times and the South Whidbey Record.

Biotoxins close all Island County beaches

Clam and mussel seasons generally run through August and September, but not this year.

Pastor Greg Steible, left, and church stewardship chair Jim Rohrback present Mother Mentors Director Kate McVay with a check for $10,000 on Sept. 12. (Photo provided)
Whidbey Presbyterian donates to Mother Mentors

The church presented Mother Mentors Director Kate McVay with a check for $10,000 on Sept. 12.

Blood drive to pop up

A pop-up blood drive is planned at First United Methodist Church in Oak Harbor on Sept. 30.

Photo provided
Crew jumps from rescue boat that lost steering in storm

By the next day, the boat had washed ashore on the Navy’s property in Crescent Harbor.

th
COVID increase may be due to Labor Day gatherings

The 14-day case rate for Sept. 2-15 was 281 per 100,000 people.

Photo by Michelle Root
Driver airlifted after crash Sunday

The driver’s passenger made it through mostly unscathed.

South End school board candidates talk priorities

The candidates focused on facility maintenance and the availability of trade-oriented electives.

Most Read