Kaiser accuses Santa Clara Co. of COVID-19 vaccine mismanagement

They've also accused the county of being in violation of CDC rules and say they'll soon file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- On the COVID-19 vaccine front, thousands of Kaiser Permanente members who had their second dose appointments postponed by the Santa Clara County health system, are being contacted by the healthcare provider about rescheduling in the coming days. It's bringing a sense of relief to many who worried when they'd be able to get their next shot.

VACCINE TRACKER: Here's how CA is doing, when you can get a coronavirus vaccine

"It was like a weight lifted off my shoulders," said San Jose teacher Sarah Nolan. "One less thing I have to stress about, which is nice, considering we're going back to school soon."

Last week, Nolan was one of more than 7,500 Kaiser members left in limbo after the county announced it would transfer appointments due to the low supply from the state.

Kaiser placed the blame squarely on the county and accused them of mismanaging their vaccine allocation, by purposely giving their doses away to other people.

VIDEO: Frustrated Kaiser members look outside provider for COVID-19 vaccines
EMBED More News Videos

The state's largest single health care provider, Kaiser Permanente, is lagging well behind other systems when it comes to vaccinating even their oldest and most vulnerable patients.



They've also accused the county of being in violation of CDC rules and say they'll soon file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"We understand that at this time vaccine supply can vary week to week, and disruptions can create the need to reschedule vaccination appointments. But the County's regrettable approach is not the way to manage these challenges," said a Kaiser spokesperson in a statement to ABC7 News.

County officials tell ABC7 News they previously provided Kaiser with 8,000 doses when it faced a similar shortage and was disappointed the company declined to reciprocate.

RELATED: At current supply rate, it would take Kaiser 4+ years to get enough vaccines for all CA patients

In a statement, county officials also pushed back against Kaiser's suggestion that the county violated its obligations under the CDC vaccination program, saying in part: "The County has gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure robust access to vaccination for all County residents, including for Kaiser members when Kaiser did not offer those members appointments itself. And unlike Kaiser, the County has focused particularly on community members who have been disproportionally affected by COVID-19."

But as the back and forth plays out, residents such as Nolan are hopeful that lessons can be learned by all to help prevent chaos in the future.

"Learn how to collaborate and communicate. Think outside the box. What can we do? What do people need to do? Work together as a team to solve it," said Nolan.


Having trouble loading the tracker above? Click here to open it in a new window.

RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.