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Health

CareWell patients report company canceled appointments for second COVID-19 vaccine dose – WCVB Boston

Some patients who received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine through a local urgent care are telling NewsCenter 5 that the company has canceled their appointments for the required second dose. In a statement, Quincy-based CareWell Urgent Care cited the “severely limited inventory and other logistical challenges” of the vaccine rollout for the cancelations, but state officials suggest that other issues may also have played a role.Maria Samiljan said she got her first dose at a CareWell Urgent Care clinic in Peabody on Super Bowl Sunday after calling several to see if any extra shots were available. “They said, ‘We have one dose. It will go bad in one half-hour. We have no one to give it to you, if you can get here.’ That’s what I was looking for, so I grabbed my keys and out the door I flew. And that’s where I got my first dose,” Samiljan said.The appointment for her second dose was scheduled for March 7, but says she called CareWell after learning that appointments were being canceled. “What I said was, ‘I trusted you with my health care and I went to you for a vaccine, trusting you.’ And then, like, ‘I feel like you’re leaving me high and dry,'” Samiljan said. “That’s when she said, ‘We don’t have any advice for you. There’s nothing we can do.'”CareWell said its 16 clinics across Massachusetts have delivered more than 6,000 COVID-19 immunizations. According to the company’s Facebook page, it was distributing doses of the Moderna vaccine. “As required by state guidelines, the shots were administered within the ten days of receiving our vaccine doses to avoid wastage,” the company wrote in a statement.CareWell said the state “has not yet been able to replenish our vaccine supply” and added they hope to receive a new shipment soon. In the meantime, customers are urged to book appointments through a state-run vaccination site. However, Department of Public Health spokesperson Kate Reilly said the agency is waiting for information from CareWell. “The (COVID-19) Command Center and the Department of Public Health are actively working with CareWell on their request for second doses and once DPH receives their survey request for doses, we will get the doses allocated and delivered to CareWell for second dose appointments,” Reilly wrote. During testimony to a legislative committee on Thursday, state Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders told lawmakers that those surveys were sent to various urgent care centers that were cut off from vaccine distribution because of a failure to follow state rules.”There is an issue with some urgent care centers that we disenrolled from the program because they were not reporting data into the (Massachusetts Immunization Information System). They were not following the state’s prioritization schedule. And basically, if you went into some of the urgent care places, they’re just, ‘We opened up a vial and would you like to have a vaccine?’ Which completely contradicts the public trust,” Sudders said, without connecting any specific companies to those allegations.When asked for specifics about the cancelations and a response to Sudders’ remarks, CareWell spokesperson Dave Low sent this statement: “Carewell Urgent Care clinics have been following the three-phased approach and other guidelines developed by the state, and we are still enrolled in the vaccine distribution program. We unfortunately needed to reschedule some appointments due to the severely limited vaccine inventory. The state has indicated we may receive a new allocation of doses next week, at which point we will continue offering immunizations to as many qualified residents as possible.”

Some patients who received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine through a local urgent care are telling NewsCenter 5 that the company has canceled their appointments for the required second dose.

In a statement, Quincy-based CareWell Urgent Care cited the “severely limited inventory and other logistical challenges” of the vaccine rollout for the cancelations, but state officials suggest that other issues may also have played a role.

Maria Samiljan said she got her first dose at a CareWell Urgent Care clinic in Peabody on Super Bowl Sunday after calling several to see if any extra shots were available.

“They said, ‘We have one dose. It will go bad in one half-hour. We have no one to give it to you, if you can get here.’ That’s what I was looking for, so I grabbed my keys and out the door I flew. And that’s where I got my first dose,” Samiljan said.

The appointment for her second dose was scheduled for March 7, but says she called CareWell after learning that appointments were being canceled.

“What I said was, ‘I trusted you with my health care and I went to you for a vaccine, trusting you.’ And then, like, ‘I feel like you’re leaving me high and dry,'” Samiljan said. “That’s when she said, ‘We don’t have any advice for you. There’s nothing we can do.'”

CareWell said its 16 clinics across Massachusetts have delivered more than 6,000 COVID-19 immunizations. According to the company’s Facebook page, it was distributing doses of the Moderna vaccine.

“As required by state guidelines, the shots were administered within the ten days of receiving our vaccine doses to avoid wastage,” the company wrote in a statement.

CareWell said the state “has not yet been able to replenish our vaccine supply” and added they hope to receive a new shipment soon. In the meantime, customers are urged to book appointments through a state-run vaccination site.

However, Department of Public Health spokesperson Kate Reilly said the agency is waiting for information from CareWell.

“The (COVID-19) Command Center and the Department of Public Health are actively working with CareWell on their request for second doses and once DPH receives their survey request for doses, we will get the doses allocated and delivered to CareWell for second dose appointments,” Reilly wrote.

During testimony to a legislative committee on Thursday, state Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders told lawmakers that those surveys were sent to various urgent care centers that were cut off from vaccine distribution because of a failure to follow state rules.

“There is an issue with some urgent care centers that we disenrolled from the program because they were not reporting data into the (Massachusetts Immunization Information System). They were not following the state’s prioritization schedule. And basically, if you went into some of the urgent care places, they’re just, ‘We opened up a vial and would you like to have a vaccine?’ Which completely contradicts the public trust,” Sudders said, without connecting any specific companies to those allegations.

When asked for specifics about the cancelations and a response to Sudders’ remarks, CareWell spokesperson Dave Low sent this statement:

“Carewell Urgent Care clinics have been following the three-phased approach and other guidelines developed by the state, and we are still enrolled in the vaccine distribution program. We unfortunately needed to reschedule some appointments due to the severely limited vaccine inventory. The state has indicated we may receive a new allocation of doses next week, at which point we will continue offering immunizations to as many qualified residents as possible.”

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