One Medical loses vaccine partnerships with 5 Bay Area counties after complaints allege ineligible patients 'jumped the line'

Stephanie Sierra Image
Friday, February 26, 2021
5 Bay Area counties cut off vaccine doses to One Medical
Vaccine supply has been cut off to all One Medical practices in five Bay Area counties following complaints alleging ineligible employees and members got to jump the line, the ABC7 I-Team confirmed Thursday.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Vaccine supply has been cut off to all One Medical practices in five Bay Area counties following complaints alleging ineligible employees and members got to jump the line, the ABC7 I-Team confirmed Thursday.

These new details come a day after the company confirmed to ABC7 News they have terminated several members of their clinical staff for their 'intentional disregard' of eligibility requirements. Several current members of One Medical tell ABC7 they plan to cancel their membership after witnessing people in their 40s jump ahead of the line.

San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Marin, and Alameda counties - including the city of Berkeley - have all cut off vaccine supply to One Medical.

"It's really disheartening to hear," said Andrew Levy, a current One Medical member. "I have elderly parents that are struggling to get the vaccine."

Levy has been a member for the past five years. But, now he's contemplating cutting ties with the company.

"My healthcare provider needs to meet my values," he said. "I think it is unfortunate when they try and cheat."

Another member told the I-Team anonymously 'plenty' of people jumped the line five weeks ago at the One Medical Four Embarcadero clinic.

"When I was standing in line at One Medical to get my vaccination there were a number of people younger than 65 waiting for their shot and they all got their shot that day," a vetted source told ABC7. "They shouldn't of, other caregivers have not been able to get it, teachers have not been able to get it... the system isn't right."

According to a letter sent to One Medical Monday, the San Francisco Department of Public Health is allowing the company to continue administering second doses to pre-scheduled patients, but the health department has directed the remaining 1,600 doses be returned.

San Mateo County Public Health canceled their contract with the company after a sustained complaint revealed 70 ineligible people were vaccinated.

Marin County provided the following statement:

"We have only provided One Medical with enough doses to finish the second dose vaccinations they are required to give to those people who received first doses (we advise residents to seek their second dose from the source of their first dose). However, we have indefinitely suspended any further first dose allocations to One Medical, pending further review. We have also removed One Medical from our website as a recommended, Marin County-based vaccine provider."

Santa Clara County provided the following statement:

"The county provided vaccination doses to One Medical for about 300 healthcare workers on their staff. There are no future vaccination dose allocations planned for One Medical."

Alameda County provided the following statement:

"In late January, Alameda County allocated 975 doses of Pfizer vaccine so they could vaccinate the Phase 1a health care workers who were their members. After that initial allocation, they were not allocated any other doses. Alameda County did not fulfill One Medical's next request in early February for additional doses when they indicated that they planned to vaccinate more than their health care workers (who were the only approved group prioritized for vaccinations at the time) next. We have not allocated any additional doses to One Medical."
Sonoma, Napa, and Contra Costa counties told ABC7 they do not contract with One Medical.

"Everything that happens that delays people who need it the most from getting the vaccine is costing someone their life," said Mike Wasserman, who sits on California's vaccine advisory committee.

One Medical told ABC News they have a 'zero-tolerance policy' for any instance of preferential vaccine treatment. The company charges $199 for an annual membership.

"We stand behind our policy that no ineligible employees, members, or business affiliates will intentionally be given an opportunity to jump the line. Any suggestion that there is a widely known and accepted practice of making these types of concessions is unequivocally false," said a spokesperson for One Medical.

One Medical also said they maintain numerous checkpoints where people have routinely turned away who do not meet eligibility criteria. The company added a majority of their vaccination pool does not include paying members, but referrals from health departments.

In January, Andrew Diamond, the company's Chief Medical Officer told ABC7 he encouraged anyone to apply for their 30-day-trial membership.

"This is kind of like a loophole. If you get the 30-day trial you can potentially get the COVID-19 vaccine through One Medical?" ABC7's Luz Pena asked.

"Absolutely. That's the whole point," said Diamond. "Our goal is to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible and as many people as possible," Diamond answered.

ABC7 requested an interview with One Medical, but have yet to hear back from the company.

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