Three counties in the San Francisco Bay Area suspended deliveries of the COVID-19 vaccine to One Medical’s offices after the private healthcare provider allowed ineligible people to queue for vaccines, it reported Wednesday. the San Francisco Chronicle.
According to the Chronicle, San Francisco, San Mateo and Alameda counties stopped shipping vaccine doses to One Medical and are seeking the return of more than 1,600 doses. NBC Bay Area later confirmed the report.
The San Francisco Department of Public Health investigated complaints that the company was administering vaccines to people who did not meet the state’s early eligibility criteria, according to the report, and the company’s response indicated that, in fact, people ineligible had been vaccinated prematurely.
California has only been vaccinating people 65 and older, as well as healthcare workers and other essential workers. Early supply shortages forced some local health agencies to limit vaccinations to those 75 and older or healthcare workers.
In a letter to One Medical executives, the San Francisco health department demanded the return of 1,600 doses of vaccines immediately because they could not verify the eligibility of some vaccine recipients. The doses had been reserved for “other uses,” said the letter, which had not been authorized by the health department. The company was allowed to maintain sufficient doses to provide second injections to those who had already received one.
San Mateo and Alameda county officials also found discrepancies, the Chronicle reported, and also cut their allocations.
NPR reported early Wednesday that One Medical was violating local regulations by allowing people to cut the line for vaccines in several states, including employees who were not dealing with the public. Forbes reported similar claims earlier this month.
In a statement to MarketWatch, One Medical said: “Any statement that we are widely and knowingly ignorant of eligibility guidelines is in direct contradiction to our actual approach to vaccine administration.
“Recent media reports on One Medical perpetuate dangerous public misconceptions about our COVID-19 vaccine protocols and, more importantly, have challenged our company values in our efforts to engage with health officials. across the country to administer COVID-19 vaccines. While these kinds of reports are discouraging to our team members who have worked tirelessly nights and weekends dealing with the complexities and challenges of the vaccine launch, we remain committed to serving our communities and hope this report will not hinder our ability to keep doing it. this vital work, “the company said, adding that 96% of those it has vaccinated had documentation of eligibility, and the other 4%” were vaccinated according to zero-waste protocols. “
One Medical is a member-based health clinic with offices in 12 major markets and works with more than 7,000 companies. In November, One Medical reported that it had more than 511,000 members.
Shares of One Medical 1Life Healthcare Inc. parent company ONEM,
it fell more than 4% on Wednesday. After going public in January 2020, its shares were up 126% in the last 12 months, compared to the SPX of the S&P 500.