It's no secret the COVID-19 vaccines are a scare resource. But the combination of temperature constraints and no shows has led to vaccine waste.
A new platform called Dr. B is looking to curb this issue by connecting eligible patients to providers with extra vaccine doses.
"All people have to do is register at HIDRB.com and they are placed on a queue that is ordered based on local government guidelines," a Dr. B spokesperson wrote in an email to MobiHealthNews. "Providers will let Dr. B know how many extra doses they have, and Dr. B will send a text to the people on the top of the list."
Patients are matched up with providers in their area, and must respond to Dr. B in order to claim the dose. The company prioritizes vaccine distribution based on the eligibility criteria of the patient's state or local government.
The site officially launched in January. It's led by ZocDoc vet Cyrus Massoumi and Dr. Ian Lipkin. The pair joined forces with Vax Standby, which was working on a similar project.
As for the future of the company, a spokesperson said that right now they are focused on COVID-19 and on going live in all 50 states.
WHY IT MATTERS
Across the country, states are reporting vaccine waste. In Massachusetts, for instance, news outlet WCVB reports that 1,204 does of the vaccine had gone to waste as of late February.
Dr. B positions itself as a way to cut down on the waste. The company boasts of registering over 1 million people for its queue.
THE LARGER TREND
Increasingly, digital health startups have rolled out tools to help the public find vaccination centers and appointments.
Even tech giants got involved with the effort. In January, Google added a COVID-19 vaccine finder to its search and map platforms. It's important to note that the bulk of these efforts are focused on helping folks find places to register, rather than find leftover vaccines.