Bay Area Counties Stop One Medical’s Access to COVID Vaccine

San Francisco and San Mateo counties stopped supplying the COVID-19 vaccine to a healthcare provider who allegedly inoculated ineligible people.

On Monday, the San Francisco Department of Public Health ordered the provider, One Medical, to return about 1,620 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

In San Francisco, One Medical was supposed to inoculate healthcare workers as defined in Phase 1A of the state vaccination program, including home carers and dentists and doctors not affiliated with a large healthcare provider.

But One Medical provided a report on February 17 that showed it administered “a series of doses” to people whose status as healthcare workers could not be verified, the department said in a statement.

San Mateo public health officials said in a statement that “the issues with One Medical were disappointing, but are not representative of the county’s strong and successful vaccination efforts.”

One Medical is based in San Francisco and has locations in the US, including several in Los Angeles. He charges patients an annual membership of $ 199 and advertises himself as a healthcare provider who practices “medicine the way it should be practiced, focusing on improving the patient experience and challenging the status quo of care. medical “and promotes among its benefits” more time, no rush appointments. “

Dr. Andrew Diamond, One Medical chief medical officer, said the company did not knowingly vaccinate anyone who did not qualify.

“We have not knowingly vaccinated, under any circumstances, anyone who does not meet the criteria of the health departments we have been working with,” Diamond said Thursday.

He added, “That doesn’t mean bad actors can’t get away with doing bad things.”

Two One Medical employees were fired for “inappropriate use of a vaccine,” Diamond said, declining to provide details.

According to a statement from One Medical, 96% of the people vaccinated by the company had documentation proving their eligibility, while 4% were vaccinated to avoid wasting doses.

The statement said the company routinely turns away people who lack the necessary documentation.

In San Mateo County, education officials reported that One Medical had vaccinated people before they were eligible under the state and county tier system.

Public health officials decided to sever ties with One Medical after an investigation revealed that the company had vaccinated 70 ineligible people.

Diamond called the situation “one of the most unfortunate things that has happened in our experience with the assignment or administration of vaccines.”

He said the school superintendent had informed some teachers that they were eligible and received the vaccine after showing an email from the superintendent.

Diamond said the company has apologized to county officials for the error. The teachers “came to us in good faith and we did the vaccination in good faith,” he said.

He said he believes San Francisco’s decision to withdraw the doses was not punitive, but was intended to redistribute the vaccine in neighborhoods where One Medical does not have offices.

One Medical was left with enough vaccine to administer a second dose to each recipient, according to the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

County officials asked for the unused doses to be returned due to problems with recipients who were not verified healthcare workers, the department said in a statement.

Unused doses “will be redistributed to other providers who can direct doses to prioritized populations based on health equity considerations,” the statement said.

In Los Angeles County, public health officials received a complaint in late January that One Medical had vaccinated someone who was not a healthcare worker.

Officials warned the company that it would not receive further vaccinations if it did not meet county guidelines, the county’s Department of Public Health said in a statement.

The county has received no additional complaints about One Medical, according to the statement.

In Santa Clara County, doses of vaccines were provided to about 300 One Medical healthcare workers, and there was no intention to assign more, authorities said in a statement.

Times staff writer Kevin Rector contributed to this report.

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