Town Manager Andy Nota said Thursday some people who got the vaccine who shouldn’t have at the EG-based regional vaccine clinic at Swift Community Center that opened last week. The R.I. Dept. of Health reported cases of ineligible people getting the vaccine a few days ago. Nota did not have specific figures for the EG incidents.
These very first vaccine clinics have been for select health care workers, and municipal EMS and other first responders, all of whom have been sent links to sign up for a vaccine appointment. The only problem is, Nota said, the link is sharable. It turns out some who’ve gotten the link have shared it with family members or friends despite a warning not to share it. In a few cases, he said, the link was shared on social media.
And a link is all a person needs to make an appointment.
“The Department of Health set up the prioritization schedule,” Nota said. “As you can imagine, everyone wants to be in priority one.”
He acknowledged there was a lot of legitimate need for the vaccine and said he wished it was just a question of scheduling everyone. Right now, however, the supply is just not able to meet the demand. Rhode Island is getting around 14,000 doses a week right now.
Once officials realized what was happening, they tightened protocols at the vaccination clinic sites – East Greenwich is one of five regional vaccine sites.
Nota said on Tuesday they turned away between 10 and 20 people who’d scheduled an appointment after learning those people were not eligible. Nota said some of those who shouldn’t have registered did not realize they were doing anything wrong, but he acknowledged others were gaming the system.
Otherwise, Nota said he thought the clinics had been going well and he anticipated, based on conversations with state officials, that municipal clinics would continue to play a role in vaccine distribution.
It remains unclear when the bulk of the population will be able to get the vaccine. If you are wondering when you or a loved one will be able to get vaccinated, try contacting your primary care doctor. In the meantime, especially during the next couple of months, avoid crowds, wear a mask, and get tested regularly. For more information, click here.
This week alone, the state had 2000 unadministered doses. It’s time to open up the lines, not complain about people jumping them!
Well some in the healthcare industry have not received theirs yet! This is completely selfish behavior on people who shared the link for those who are not eligible at this time!
From what I’ve heard — and this is admittedly third-hand — a goodly number of health care workers are refusing the vaccine and because the appointment protocols are so strict, their doses are spoiling and being thrown out! But even if this is an exaggeration, why is this process taking so long? And why is the Dept of Health doing it? CVS and other pharmacies have been doing flu vaccines for years. They could have had all the healthcare workers and half the state done by now.
According to RIDOH, the state is getting around 14,000 doses of vaccine a week. That will most likely increase but it’s impossible to imagine half the state vaccinated for at least a couple months, probably longer. I can only speak to the EG municipal clinic in terms of wasted vaccine. According to Town Manager Nota, each Moderna vial holds 10 doses, maybe 11. If they expect they will have extra doses, they contact people who have signed up for a later date to see if they can come in early. For the five municipal clinics, it’s all done by appointment – i.e. the person getting the vaccine must make their own appointment. The amount of vaccine delivered each day depends on the number of people who have registered for that day.
” Gaming the system” I for one would like to know exactly who was trying to scam the system, if things as we know them aren’t bad enough now we have people knowingly trying to take advantage of this….let us know who they were and what relation to any town employee they had.
I am scheduled for my first vaccine dose on Wednesday-and believe me-I would like my parents to take my spot. But I am an outpatient provider.
It sounds like RI is doing a better job than most states. This will be in ethics classes for years to come.
MA-our bordering state-is a lot worse off. Hospital administrators are inviting people they know to come bring their spouses and get vaccinated.
We can spend our days being angry and frustrated or we can take deep breaths, double mask and ride this out waiting for our number to be called.
Biden walked into a mess. These drug companies need to forget about business as usual and speed up production. And work together to help Johnson and Jonson and Merck with their vaccines that aren’t quite there.
Mask, distance, don’t gather, smile, respect differences and help your neighbor.
And don’t jump the line on purpose.
I guess you forgot about the Lifespan trustees who received the vaccine