“It has come to our attention that a registration link for this Thursday’s Pasadena Public Health Covid-19 vaccination clinic was shared with a large group of entertainment, news and production individuals,” read a statement from the Pasadena officials this week. “This group is NOT currently eligible to receive vaccine according to state criteria, which was also outlined in the verbiage attached to the registration link.”
“Due to the complexity of confirming legitimate, vaccine-eligible registrants in the system, our health department is forced to reschedule Thursday’s vaccination clinic.”
This Thursday’s #COVID19 vaccination clinic is being RESCHEDULED due to a large number of ineligible individuals registering for appointments. See statement below. More information regarding vaccine distribution & answers to frequently asked questions @ https://t.co/0um06Tmujr. pic.twitter.com/PmZDGcY7QY
— City of Pasadena (@PasadenaGov) March 9, 2021
It’s not the first time that a group of relatively well-off Angelenos have jumped the line.
California Governor Gavin Newsom witnessed it firsthand at a recent East Los Angeles clinic.
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“I was down in East L.A. the other day at a public housing site exclusively Latino, and saw these Audis pull up, folks that look like me, wondering what was going on,” said Newsom.
The governor and local officials confirmed that outsiders were using vaccine codes intended specifically for underserved communities to get appointments. Some of those who improperly used the codes later said they didn’t realize it wasn’t allowed; they just got the code forwarded to them by a friend. State and local officials later said vaccine code system is being revamped to function via individual rather than group codes.
But line-jumpers don’t even need a code.
Pharmacies like CVS are vaccinating people based solely on their statements via an online eligibility form, which people can fill out any way they choose. All anyone has to do is click on an attestation that “I meet my county’s eligibility requirements.” When such person shows up for an appointment, the only verification they need provide is a driver’s license to prove they are the person they claim to be. There is no verification of eligibility.
There is also what might be called a “backdoor” path to vaccination.
State officials, desperate to scale up the vaccine rollout, are dangling the lure of vaccination in front of potential volunteers.
“Right now, volunteers who complete a shift of four hours or more at a vaccine site are considered community health workers and eligible for the vaccine,” said California’s Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday.
That’s right, for four hours of work, any adult in the state can get vaccinated.
NOW LIVE! https://t.co/v68K5FMBDt connects volunteers to vaccination clinics in need of support to accelerate CAs COVID-19 vaccination efforts! Medical and general volunteers are needed.
Visit https://t.co/v68K5FMBDt to get involved and help your community. #VaccinateAll58https://t.co/aIMe94c4E9pic.twitter.com/v9yXgn7OOI
— Josh Fryday (@JoshFryday) March 6, 2021
City News Service contributed to this report.