In San Mateo County, 70 ineligible people were vaccinated.
Healthcare provider One Medical has been barred from launching the vaccine in five California counties after ineligible patients jumped the line to receive the coveted vaccine.
One Medical confirmed to ABC News on Wednesday that several members of the clinical staff were fired for “intentionally ignoring” eligibility requirements.
One Medical is a membership-based primary care provider with locations nationwide and charges an annual fee of $ 199. The company offers a technology-focused medical experience with virtual video visits and a mobile app for scheduling appointments.
In San Mateo County, 70 ineligible people were vaccinated at One Medical locations, according to an investigation found following a Feb.5 complaint, authorities told ABC News. The county subsequently terminated its contract with One Medical, calling the actions “disappointing.”
Officials in Marin, Santa Clara and Alameda counties did not say how many ineligible patients may have been vaccinated at One Medical centers in their counties, but they all stopped sending more dose assignments.
San Francisco officials have not disclosed how many ineligible people received the vaccine, but said in a statement that “multiple doses” were administered to people under 65 who falsely self-identified as “Phase 1a healthcare workers.”
The San Francisco Department of Public Health said they will allow One Medical to administer second doses to pre-scheduled patients, but the remaining 1,600 doses sent to the provider must be returned. One Medical told ABC News that the reimbursement of those doses was requested because other regions had a higher priority for the doses, not because of “eligibility compliance procedures.”
However, there have been complaints about line breaks at One Medical locations across the country, including in Washington state and Los Angeles County, National Public Radio reported.
Some people who cut the line included those with connections to company leaders, NPR reported, citing leaked internal communications.
A One Medical spokesperson told ABC News that they have “numerous established checkpoints” and “routinely reject people who do not meet the eligibility criteria” and have a “zero tolerance policy” for preferential treatment with vaccines for ineligible people.
“We support our policy that no ineligible employee, member or affiliate will knowingly have the opportunity to jump the line,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said their data shows that less than 1% of the doses were given to people outside of the current eligible groups and they were inoculated to use additional doses at the end of the day.
The problem has sparked a backlash among the locals.
“It’s really heartbreaking to hear,” Andrew Levy, a current One Medical member, told local ABC affiliate KGO. “I have elderly parents who are struggling to get the vaccine … I think it’s a shame when they try to cheat.”
One Medical said that the problem of people jumping the line is not unique to its company and that there is no pending investigation into the matter.