PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Vaccine distributors continue to be inundated with requests for the COVID-19 shot.

In particular, local pharmacies have put systems in place to organize the thousands of people signing up for a vaccine, often using online forms or emails. Some of those pharmacies say the scramble for the vaccine is starting to impact the day-to-day workflow.

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People who call Bushy Run Pharmacy in Harrison City instantly hear an automated message telling them to get on the vaccine waiting list via email. Still, pharmacist Jack Moschgat says vaccine-related calls still make it through to staff.

“Sometimes, we have three, four lines ringing at the same time,” he said. “Sometimes, there are only three people here.”

Depending on the day, Moschgat says it can have a significant impact on workflow.

“Especially when you have to spend a couple of minutes on the phone explaining things, it’s always going to slow it down a little bit” Moschgat said.

For Spartan Pharmacy in the South Hills, the number of calls meant shutting the phones off.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, the local chain said, “We are disabling inbound calls due to overwhelming COVID-19 calls. We are unable to respond to calls and still operate the pharmacy.”

Customers calling about prescriptions are encouraged to text the pharmacy’s prescription line or call and leave a voicemail.

While asking the public to follow the right registration steps, pharmacies are also asking for the public’s time.

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“When you’re trying to work through 600 doses in a day, you need people doing everything,” Moschgat said.

With limited resources and multiple clinics a week, some independent pharmacies are looking for volunteers. Bushy Run is asking for volunteers to help with intake, scheduling and crowd control at its COVID-19 vaccine clinics.


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  • Anyone interested should email their name and phone number to volunteer@mainlinerx.com.

    Spartan Pharmacy asked for food and drink as it prepares for more clinics. In a Facebook post on Thursday afternoon, the pharmacy asked for donated snacks, coffee and drinks for a Saturday clinic.

    Within three hours, the pharmacy announced it had more than enough donations, but said if people are interested in donating for future clinics, they can email info@spartanpharmacy.com.

    To register for a vaccine clinic with Bushy Run, email COVID@mainlinerx.com with your name, age, occupation, medical conditions and phone number.

    When spots are available at a clinic through Spartan Pharmacy, people will be able to book on its website here.
    Updates are available on its Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/spartanpharmacy

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    Neither pharmacy is taking calls for COVID-19 vaccine inquires. Clinics for both pharmacies are by appointment only.