Officials: Vaccine ‘line-cutters’ delaying doses for those who qualify

Coronavirus

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – Sacramento County officials say those booking COVID-19 vaccine appointments under false pretenses are delaying vaccinations for those who do qualify.

Vinod Sharma received his first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the McClellan Park vaccination clinic. He waited three days to get an appointment.

“It’s very easy. Easy steps. Nothing complicated,” he said. “It is always a sense of relief. Yes, absolutely. I feel more comfortable now.”

But officials say the process is in danger of slowing down.

Unlike Sharma, Sacramento County says people who are not eligible for the shot are cutting in line and making an appointment anyway.

“The criteria is looser now than it has ever been,” said Janna Haynes, the public information officer for Sacramento County.

Haynes says right now the county is vaccinating those 65 and older, first responders and educators.

Haynes says people who don’t fall into the group and are making appointments are wasting staff time and taking away appointments from those who need it.

“The more people adhere to the tier and phase system, the quicker we can move through the eligible groups,” she explained.

Confusion could be one potential factor why some believe they are eligible when they are not.

For example, food and agriculture workers are not eligible to get the vaccine in Sacramento County, but that sector is eligible in counties like Stanislaus County and Yolo County.

“It’s really critical that people look at the phasing system, look at who we’re vaccinating now and honor those tiers and phases,” Haynes said.

Haynes says just because you have an appointment that doesn’t guarantee anything.

“Know when you get to your vaccination appointment if you are ineligible, they will deny you a vaccination,” she told FOX40.

Haynes says they hope to open up the vaccine for more people, but can’t until they get more doses of the vaccine from the state.

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