3 Bay Area counties cut off COVID vaccine supply to One Medical, saying people cut the line

Three Bay Area counties have suspended coronavirus vaccine supplies to a San Francisco health care provider whose procedures allowed unauthorized individuals to cut off the line, local officials say.

One Medical will no longer receive vaccinations from San Francisco, San Mateo or Alameda counties, and San Francisco health officials said Wednesday that One Medical has been ordered to return more than 1,600 doses.

On a question about the Bay Area practice last week, One Medical officials claimed that the company had deliberately ignored eligibility guidelines, “directly contradicting the actual approach to vaccine administration.”

At the beginning of the vaccine’s introduction, the counties allocated vaccine doses to One Medical after the company proved it could distribute them effectively. The company offered free trial versions of its $ 199 membership program to those who wanted to register for the vaccine.

But this month, San Francisco health department officials asked One Medical to provide information on how COVID-19 vaccines were administered after complaints were lodged that unauthorized San Francisco people were being vaccinated.

The company’s response indicated that people who did not meet the state’s vaccination eligibility criteria at the time were vaccinated.

“Because of this and because we were unable to verify the (eligibility) of this cohort, DPH stopped allocating doses to One Medical,” a health department spokesman said in an email on Wednesday.

Five days after One Medical responded to the health department’s request, Jonathan Sears, deputy director of vaccination operations at the COVID-19 Command Center in San Francisco, instructed the company to return 270 vials of Pfizer vaccine — containing 1,620 doses — which “Saved for other purposes. “

The counties of San Mateo and Alameda also stopped allocating doses to One Medical after learning that the company had approved the line-cutting, officials in both counties said.

One Medical is a membership-based reception that offers medical care in 12 cities and offers 24-hour virtual care. In 2007, it expanded from one location in San Francisco to more than 72 across the country.

California currently allows vaccines to be distributed to people over the age of 65, as well as categories of health care workers and other essential workers, including teachers, emergency care workers, and farm workers. At first, many local health departments struggled with care gaps that made it difficult for them to extend eligibility to the most vulnerable groups, such as people over 75 and health workers.

In early February, the San Mateo County Public Health Department received a complaint from two school districts that One Medical was vaccinating teachers who were not yet eligible under local and state criteria, according to Rebecca Archer, deputy county counsel for the county’s San Mateo office. Counsel.