Frequently Asked Questions

Who Are You?

Spare Vaccine Alerts was started in early February 2021 with the goal of helping to streamline the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines and help minimize doses going to waste.  This is a volunteer effort currently run by just two people, Seyi and Jeff, but we hope to recruit more volunteers soon!  We are working hard to turn this idea into a reality and welcome all the help we can get.  If you have contacts in the healthcare industry that are involved in vaccine distribution or would like to help in any other way, please contact us at

Is this free?

Yes, both Spare Vaccine Alerts and the COVID-19 vaccines are free of charge.  Healthcare providers will bill insurance companies, Medicaid and Medicare, and/or utilize State and Federal funds for the uninsured.  Depending on what insurance you have, the healthcare provider that administers your dose may charge a copayment at the time of service.  Any questions you have about your insurance copays, deductibles, or out of pocket expenses should be discussed with the healthcare provider at the time you receive your dose.

Who can sign up?

The goal of Spare Vaccine Alerts is to help get as many people vaccinated as possible.  As such, we encourage any- and everyone who is interested to sign up.

How Will This Work?

The goal for Spare Vaccine Alerts is to alert people on our list when there are spare vaccine doses at healthcare providers nearby. The way we intend this to work is as follows:

1. Healthcare providers we have partnered with alert us when a) someone has missed an appointment to receive their vaccine, and/or b) towards the end of the day when there are spare doses that may have to be discarded if not administered.

2. Spare Vaccine Alerts sends out an alert via text message to all subscribers in the geographical area with a link to reserve the vaccine and a time slot to receive it. The reservation will necessarily be on a first come first serve basis. As soon as all available doses have been reserved, an update will be sent out.

3. People able to reserve a vaccine will be sent the location of the healthcare provider and a confirmation of their time slot. The healthcare provider will have your details and know to expect you. Your details will be removed from our system at this point, and you will no longer receive further communications from us.

How Will You Prioritize?

Vaccines are prioritized based on eligibility criteria set by your state's Department of Health.  The general CDC guidelines can be found here: CDC Guidelines.  Please check with your state's health department for the criteria specific to your state.

The goal of Spare Vaccine Alerts is to increase efficiency in the rollout of the vaccine and help minimize the risk of vaccine doses going to waste. Per CDC guidance, the more people that receive the vaccine the better for the community as a whole, even if some of the people that receive it are not on the priority list. Because Spare Vaccine Alerts is not a healthcare provider and is collecting only enough contact information in order to send out alerts, we have no way of prioritizing by age, pre-existing conditions, or other health-related factors. As a non-healthcare provider, Federal law prohibits us from collecting medical information. We will, however, not remove anyone from our list unless they request it, so you can be assured that you will receive an alert whenever spare vaccine doses become available.

What Information Do I Need to Sign Up?

Spare Vaccine Alerts needs just your name, email address, cell phone number, and zip code.  If you reserve a spare vaccine dose, we pass this information onto the relevant healthcare provider.  We do not collect any other personal or health-related information.  You can request that we remove your details from you system at any time by sending an email from the address you entered upon sign up to

Who Will Administer the Vaccine?

Spare Vaccine Alerts is not a healthcare provider and will not be administering any vaccine. We are focusing our efforts on providing a simple, unified platform for healthcare providers to send alerts when there are vaccine doses at risk of going to waste. At the moment, there is a patchwork of different systems and processes across the state of Illinois, and our goal is to reduce some of the complexity and friction for average people in order to make the rollout of the vaccine more efficient.

When you respond to one of our alerts and are able to make a reservation, you will receive details for where and when to receive your vaccine dose. It will be administered by the healthcare provider that holds the spare dose.

What If I Have Already Received the 1st Dose?

This service is focused on getting people their first dose at this time.  Because Spare Vaccine Alerts does not collect any health-related information, we have no way of matching up spare doses with the type of vaccine someone has already received.  If you have already received your first dose, your healthcare provider should already have booked your second dose.

Will You Book the 2nd Dose?

Once you have booked and received your first dose, the healthcare provider that administers it will book an appointment with you to receive your second dose.

Will You Expand to Other Areas?

We are focused on rolling out Spare Vaccine Alerts in Cook County, Illinois at the present time. However, we have received a large number of inquiries from other counties in Illinois and around the nation, and we will evaluate how we can provide this service outside of Cook County in due course and will provide updates if and when that becomes available.

How Do I Unsubscribe?

You can unsubscribe and remove your details from our system by emailing us at

I am a Healthcare Provider and/or Vaccine Distributer. How do I participate?

We need as many healthcare providers and vaccine distributers as possible!  Please contact us via email at and we will have some get back to you right away.

Will My Information Be Shared?

Once you have reserved a spare vaccine dose, we may send your information to that provider who may verify your eligibility in person. We will not sell, share, or transfer your data to any third-parties, other than as set forth in our privacy policy.  The information you provide will be used solely for the purposes of sending you an alert whenever a spare vaccine dose becomes available, and your details will be removed from our system when you get vaccinated (either as a result of one of our alerts or through your own efforts) or when you request to be removed (by emailing, whichever comes first.

Are you HIPAA Compliant?

HIPAA regulates how doctors and insurers protect data and share data with other HIPAA covered entities.  Spare Vaccine Alerts is not a covered entity, but we understand the gravitas of holding your data.  We collect only your contact details and no health-related information, but we treat the personal information you provide just as importantly and store it in encrypted form in the cloud.  Please refer to our privacy policy for more information.