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Questions about Sharp HealthCare giving vaccine to lower priority-tier recipients

coronavirus vaccine filephoto
Posted at 5:17 PM, Dec 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-30 21:24:47-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - On Wednesday, more questions were raised about Sharp HealthCare giving the COVID-19 vaccine to lower priority-tier recipients after ABC10 News was sent social media images of personal trainers who claim that they got the shot on Monday at the Grossmont hospital.

A County spokesperson told ABC10 News on Monday that the County was made aware but the spokesperson directed ABC10 News to Sharp HealthCare, which replied in part that Sharp HealthCare is not able to comment on the non-Sharp individuals that ABC10 News mentioned.

This all comes after ABC10 News first reported on Tuesday that on Monday night, Sharp HealthCare had 300 vaccines that were about to expire, but the hospital network said that it did not contact the County for a directive since it was after-hours.

Instead, Sharp HealthCare moved on a plan to vaccinate first responders, the majority being SDPD officers who fall under phase 1B of the rollout, not the 1A phase that we’re currently in.

The County reports that had it known in advance, it would have directed Sharp HealthCare to vaccinate people in phase 1A, like healthcare workers and nursing home residents.

On Wednesday, County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said that health officers have since sent a notice to all local healthcare systems. “[It’s] about the incredible need for us to coordinate so that if there is excess- there are unused [vaccines]- ones that are nearing expiration- that we can share them across systems so that we can be collaborative [and] make sure that we hold fast and consistent to the tier system that's been outlined,” he added.

Sharp HealthCare has characterized its solution as a win-win in that first responders were vaccinated and doses didn't go to waste. A spokesperson said the state allows for providers to vaccinate lower priority groups when doses could go bad.

On Wednesday, ABC10 News also asked the County about whether hospital administrators who don't have patient contact were given the vaccine early. The County confirmed that Sharp HealthCare vaccinated its executive staff.

Sharp Healthcare stated in part, "…because we received enough of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for all Sharp staff and providers, we first vaccinated our highest risk tier clinical teams and then opened it up to all of our teams on a walk-in basis, who are all essential to the operation of our health system. To date, we've vaccinated more than 10,000 Sharp personnel and continue to do so."

Sharp HealthCare would not address questions related to how it keeps track of its vaccine inventory.

On Wednesday, a County spokesperson said that the County always has staff members who can be reached after-hours for emergencies.