Dr. B Review: How Dr. B Helped Immunize People from COVID19

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When former Zocdoc founder Cyrus Massoumi noticed an increase in Americans struggling to access the COVID-19 vaccine, he wanted to make a difference. As clinics held a surplus of medication, the waste from vaccine expiry continued to climb despite thousands of people struggling to access the elusive jab. Unfortunately, Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require hours of thawing, especially when removed from low-temperature storage. Any leftover doses from the daily schedule were administered to shoppers, close contacts, or in-house teams wanting the vaccine. Quantities that clinics didn’t offer in time were discarded in the trash.

What was Dr. B’s Goal?

Dr. B’s platform’s fundamental goal was to minimize vaccine waste while improving distribution efforts. The website connected people who wanted the COVID-19 vaccine with various clinics offering extra doses. The platform functioned as a comprehensive standby service, like different airport lists facilitating passengers. When a clinic held additional quantities, they contacted the service and uploaded information online. From there, the automated algorithm determined qualified applicants for the dose.

Any clinics registered on the website could upload the available quantities and predicted vaccine expiry. The Dr. B website would then cycle through the registry, pulling applicable names for contact. The website cross-referenced all applicants against state guidelines to confirm eligibility. Risk assessment and eligibility determined the contact order, with the highest priority individuals receiving an opportunity before the public.

Confirming the Appointment Times

Anyone interested in the clinic appointment could confirm the appointment through SMS. People who couldn’t reach the vaccine appointment would decline the position and were sent back to the priority list at the back of their risk assessment category. Any rejected appointments were subsequently offered to other individuals within the appropriate risk category, continuing down the list until the platform filled the vacancy.

Why Were COVID-19 Vaccines Discarded?

Due to the mRNA technology, all covid vaccines require specific storing and transportation needs. mRNA technology requires a cold environment for storage and transportation. Continuous cold storage maintains efficiency, with all vaccines sitting at -100 degrees Fahrenheit. As immunization breaks down considerably after removal from cold storage, using the doses within a specified time ensures the efficiency of the vaccine. Scheduling became critical in waste prevention, which became difficult for clinics and facilities facing no-show appointments and cancelations. Dr. B filled the appointment scheduling void, minimizing these risk factors overall.

Response to the Website Overall

During the initial launch, two clinics joined the Dr. B platform, hoping to reduce the vaccine waste within the community. One clinic was a small drug store owner struggling to fill appointment cancelations, facing high levels of waste during the height of the pandemic. When hit with 22-inches of snow in early February, one pharmacy owner in Brittany Marsh of Little Rock, Arkansas, struggled to find available patients for available doses. Wanting to mitigate the vaccine loss, the owner turned to Dr. B for help filling appointment slots.

Before Dr. B, most clinics spent man-hours finding available people on-site, which was exceptionally challenging and time-consuming. One Dr. B review highlights the direct connection between vaccine availability and the influence automation held in reducing overall waste. Clinics found interested and qualified candidates with additional work. With time, over 750 different facilities joined the platform, committed to reducing waste during a catastrophic and problematic shortage.

Dr. B Pushed a Quiet Launch

Despite the website being popular for both clinics and interested candidates, Massoumi was deliberate with the launch. He avoided the widespread and popular press, minimizing registrations. He focused efforts on the platform’s awareness within at-risk communities. These communities included vulnerable populations struggling to find vaccine appointments. Preliminary advertising channels included Community Action Network, NAACP, iHeartRadio’s Spanish-speaking channels, and the Indian Health Service. Building a reputation within these communities brought vaccine access to those communities that may have remained underserved.

As interest in Dr. B’s website continued to grow, overall popularity continued to soar. Registration for both clinics and individuals was free, allowing anyone to join the online registration. Dr. B. collected the personal information of every applicant to prioritize the vaccination request. These details included the full name, birthday, geographic location, and employment details. The website also collected medical information about every applicant to determine early eligibility.

The end of registration determined the website’s highly successful nature. It became a robust network with over 755 different vaccination clinics offering their surplus to those waiting for a vaccine and close to 2.5 million people registering for the program.

Organizing Candidates Online

All candidates were organized according to specific qualifications and definitions. Eligibility parameters included basic eligibility requirements, placeholder status, and state mandates. All details were cross-referenced against determining factors, with qualified candidates receiving text messages from Dr. B’s website directly. When an individual declines the offered appointment, the platform automatically shifts to the next candidate.

Conclusion

As the world struggled with a pandemic, the rapid development and administration of the vaccine offset the devastating impact. Having a platform to facilitate vaccine distribution was paramount in getting the dose to more people while minimizing waste overall. Dr. B administered over one million text messages offering vaccine administration as the website closed, connecting more people with the life-saving medication.

Highlights