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A medical center gave teachers the COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s why they lost their supply afterward

A Georgia medical center gave teachers the COVID-19 vaccine early

Marie Hageman administers a COVID-19 vaccine to Pastor Karlton Howard of Noah’s Ark Missionary Baptist Church in Keysville, Ga., Monday, Jan. 25, 2021, during an event for pastors at Good Shepherd Baptist Church in Augusta, Ga.
Marie Hageman administers a COVID-19 vaccine to Pastor Karlton Howard of Noah’s Ark Missionary Baptist Church in Keysville, Ga., Monday, Jan. 25, 2021, during an event for pastors at Good Shepherd Baptist Church in Augusta, Ga. A medical center in Georgia decided to give the COVID-19 vaccine to teachers, bus drivers and cafeteria workers to help reopen schools sooner. However, the state ended up taking away the supply soon after due to violation of rules.
Associated Press

A medical center in Georgia decided to give the COVID-19 vaccine to teachers, bus drivers and cafeteria workers to help reopen schools sooner.

What happened?

The Medical Center of Elberton said Thursday that the Georgia Department of Health suspended shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine to its facility for six months after it violated COVID-19 vaccine distribution policy.

  • The center reportedly gave the vaccine to people who were not eligible to receive it, WYFF reports.

Georgia said the center broke the state’s protocol, which currently calls for health care workers, staff and residents of long-term care facilities can receive the vaccine as well as those 65 years old and above, according to WYFF.

Reaction

The center has appealed the decision, WYFF reports.

  • “I’m pretty pissed about it because we are a tightknit community,” Brooke McDowell, an administrator at the medical center, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Our community is relying on us to vaccinate them, and our state has decided, during a pandemic, to suspend our privileges.”

Similarly, the Elbert County School District sent WYFF a statement about the vaccines, suggesting teachers need to be vaccinated sooner rather than later.

“The Elbert County School District continues to prioritize the safety and well-being of our teachers, support staff, and students. Our goal during the COVID-19 pandemic has been to provide the best possible education for our students through both in-person and distance learning options, which we have done all but six days since the school year began in August. Research clearly demonstrates the benefits of in-person instruction and continuing to offer that option requires a number of disease mitigation measures in place. We are thankful for our local emergency management team and The Medical Center of Elberton which began working closely with our school district in September to develop a vaccination plan designed to meet the needs of our community. The Elbert County School District will continue in its commitment to work in partnership with our local health officials, teachers, staff, and families to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our school district and community.”

Similar hiccups

A Washington state hospital apologized for asking about 100 donors to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccination, The Seattle Times reports. The Overlake Medical Center reportedly asked benefactors to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

  • The center sent an email to almost 4,000 members of its community, which included “volunteers, retired nurses and physicians, all employees and about 100 donors from our Foundation database,” the hospital said in a statement.

Earlier in January, a nursing home in Florida offered extra vaccines to residents, board members and generous donors, as I wrote about for the Deseret News.