SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – Kaiser canceled thousands of COVID-19 vaccination appointments in Santa Clara County blaming a shortage of supply.
The cancellations began last week and more appointments have been canceled this week.
4,500 appointments were canceled this week and 500 more the week before.
While Kaiser says it understands the frustrations, they say they just didn’t receive the anticipated vaccine supply as projected.
Thousands of seniors back logged and forced to reschedule COVID-19 vaccination appointments in Santa Clara County.
Kaiser Permanente says it had to cancel more than 5,000 appointments from January 29 through February 5th due to a shortage of supply.
In a statement to KRON4, Kaiser Permanente said:
“We did not receive the vaccine supplies anticipated when the appointments were made, estimated on previous vaccine deliveries and guidance from the state and county. “
Senator Dave Cortese, whose district includes Santa Clara County, admits transparency and communication issues between federal, state and local governments, as well as private providers like Kaiser, are to blame for many of these cancellations.
“They need to know accurate projections before they start going out, taking or making appointments with people and getting peoples’ expectations geared up. If it’s going to take 20 weeks to get everyone vaccinated then I think the state of California needs to say that. If it’s going to take 15 weeks, it needs to say that but say something. Don’t just roll things out and expect people not to be unhappy when expectations aren’t met,” Cortese said.
Cortese says the state needs to improve its current system of handling vaccinations and data.
“There’s a right way to do it and a more centralized way to do it and you know when those vaccines come in from the federal government, we need to be ready to hand those out properly. There’s no reason for the state to be 50th in the union of per capita vaccinations,” Cortese said.
Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez agrees. She says 330,000 people are over the age of 65 in the county and roughly, only 150,000 to 160,000 have received their first dose of the vaccine.
Not only is she pushing for more equity in vaccine distribution but also a faster rollout.
“We have the capacity to make sure almost 120,000 people a week could be vaccinated if we had the supply to do that so the longer it takes, the more fearful people are getting and more anxious people are getting,” Chavez said.
Kaiser Permanente says it’s working on rescheduling those canceled appointments, prioritizing those 75 and older.
If supplies allow, they will also try to reschedule those 65 to 74 but say they’ll need a significant increase in vaccine supply to do this.