When the vaccination effort started, too many shots were going to waste due to irregular supply and canceled appointments. Dr. B solved this problem by connecting people who want vaccines with shots near them.


Dr. B connected excess COVID-19 vaccines with people who wanted shots. Short codes enabled messaging that scaled up quickly to a broad audience, including underserved populations.   


After providing brief vaccine eligibility data and opting in online, participants receive all future communications by text message, including availability notifications and appointment reminders.


In a situation where time, trust and access are critical, trusted short codes are helping Dr. B connect life-saving vaccines to people who need them--no smartphone required. Thorough, familiar text messages notify participants of vaccine availability and remind them of appointments—an important task given that healthcare appointments can have a 10%-20% no-show rate.



states in four months


Twilio, TrailRunner International



Public Safety

Short codes were the healthcare startup’s first choice for getting the word out about vaccine availability and appointments.

This messaging tactic is a good fit for public health information campaigns for many reasons. First, short codes must be registered with the Common Short Codes Administration (CSCA) and are closely monitored, which builds public trust.

For organizations, short codes provide a swift, streamlined way of reaching many people, and for recipients, they are easy to use. Hannah Guenter, an associate with TrailRunner International, explained: “There are no passwords to remember. You get a verification alert, and when people get alerts, they’re thorough and familiar.”

Dr. B’s mission is to make access to healthcare, specifically the COVID-19 vaccine more equitable. Dr. B removes the barriers that are continuing to prevent people, particularly those in underserved communities, with simple, automatic text messaging.

Dr. B Head of Technology Misha Kaletsky