An online platform that allows people in France to sign up to receive spare Covid-19 vaccination doses has seen over 500 people vaccinated since its launch at the end of March.
Covidliste connects users to vaccination centres across the country with the aim of saving doses that otherwise risk being lost.
The tool has been popular since its launch on March 30, with over 550,000 so far signing up.
The site is currently partnered with 36 vaccination centres around France, including the vaccinodrome at the Stade de France in Paris.
The Covidliste team is aiming to expand this coverage to the whole country by the end of April, it stated in a press release published April 9.
Of the more than half-a-million registered people who have registered, 61% are located outside of large cities (places with less than 200,000 inhabitants).
How it works
Users sign up with personal data including name, age, address, contact details. Then, Covidliste explains: “When a dose is available, you are sent a link through SMS. Upon confirmation, you are put in contact with a vaccination centre.”
Users must agree to their data being shared with vaccination centre partners so they can be contacted if a leftover vaccine becomes available.
Sign-ups are open to anyone who has not yet received a vaccine, whether you are eligible for the national rollout yet or not.
It is then up to the vaccination centre to contact you, depending on criteria such as where you live, how far away from the centre you are, your age, and which kind of vaccine is available.
If you do receive a vaccine, your second dose will be arranged directly with the vaccination centre, and not through the Covidliste site.
Signing up does not guarantee that a vaccine will be offered to you.
Some vaccines, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech one, are especially vulnerable to being wasted, as they must be used very quickly after opening due to their storage requirements. Each vial contains between five and seven doses, depending on how much is wasted during the administration process.
Doses may be left unused in open bottles at the end of the day if booked-in patients miss their appointments, or if the number of doses did not exactly match the number of appointments booked that day.
Covidliste stated in its press release that it is a citizen initiative that aims to support the acceleration of the vaccination campaign in France.
“More than a hundred volunteers, IT developers, communicators, legal, management and data processing specialists spontaneously came forward to offer their skills to the project,” it stated.
Covidliste is not yet officially supported by the French government but the health ministry stated that it was in favour of the service.
“It is a private initiative that goes in the right direction, we look at it favourably, if the site is respectful of privacy and data protection,” the ministry told newspaper Le Parisien.