REPORT: People ‘cutting in line’ for COVID-19 vaccines
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Dr. Martha Whyte, the Louisiana Department of Health’s (LDH) medical director for northwest Louisiana, says people not in the eligible tiers are attempting to get COVID-19 vaccines. Some of these people are succeeding.
“When you are not in an open tie and you are trying to sneak around or push your way in line or find some hook-up to get a COVID vaccine out of turn, you are basically stepping over an 80-year-old man or woman to get it,” Dr. Whyte said. “We see it on Facebook ‘Oh, I got my vaccine’, someone who is not in the tier, and my question is are you a medical person? Are you over 70? How did you get this? We have had people report it. I have to oversee vaccine, how it goes out to, to some extent. I don’t have a say in how many someone necessarily gets, but I do have to see how they are using it. I think our providers are very much trying to do the right thing, occasionally you’ll have someone who doesn’t and what we tell them is if you are going to behave in this manner, we cannot give you vaccines to distribute.”
Dr. Whyte says the northwest Louisiana region is not seeing the level of misuse that’s being seen in other states, but there will be consequences for clinics that do not follow the protocols set in place.
“We have held back vaccines for a week for them to show us that they have a registration of people who are in the tiers so we can give the vaccine to you,” Dr. Whyte said. “If they are not ready to deliver to those in the open tiers they shouldn’t take it that week. I think we all need to be aware of what we are doing when we are acting that way. Those are our parents, grandparents, people who are high risk who are in those tiers right now. Once we get more people vaccinated or receive more vaccines, we are going to push to open that up.”
Those wanting to get a COVID-19 vaccine should remain patient, and be mindful of those in the eligible tiers that they may be stepping over.
“We just need to be, to realize, there is a method behind the madness, and that we are trying to get it to everybody as soon as we can. And please be mindful of the people you are stepping over if you are trying to break in that line,” said Dr. Whyte.
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