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Bay Area pop-up clinic pauses vaccinations after alleged unfair distribution

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CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — Two weeks ago, over 500 seniors received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at this pop-up vaccination clinic in Lafayette.

The clinic won’t be giving the second shot — after a complaint made to Contra Costa County alleging unfair distribution.

The doctor who hosted the clinic says she did nothing wrong.

Contra Costa Health Services says everyone who received a first dose from this clinic will get their second shot at county clinics.

The doctor says the complaint was a misunderstanding. She didn’t want to go on camera because she is receiving threats against her children.

“I would never would have imagined that trying to vaccinate our senior citizens would lead to threats against my kids,” Dr. Rebecca Parish said.

Dr. Parish hosted a pop-up drive thru clinic on January 16 and 17. The goal – to help speed up the slow rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Hundreds of seniors received their first dose at Stanley Middle School in Lafayette, but won’t be getting their second here after a complaint made to the Contra Costa Public Health Department alleging unfair distribution.

“She vaccinated almost 600 people without making a penny on her own expense and one person who apparently did not understand the rules thought that I guess we don’t really know that people under 75 were not permitted to get the vaccine,” Dr. Parish’s lawyer Daniel Horowitz said.

The clinic initially focused on getting those 75 and older vaccinated, days before the pop up clinic opened, Governor Gavin Newsom allowed people 65 and older eligible to receive the shot.

Horowitz confirms a doctor who volunteered to administer shots at the clinic filed the complaint with the county.

The county’s health department won’t confirm any complaints made against Dr. Parish, but in a statement told KRON4:

“Contra Costa Health Services has stopped giving additional doses to this clinic while records are reviewed.”

Contra Costa Health Services is also shifting to mass vaccine sites.

Horowitz says it’s the reason why Dr. Parish is not receiving second doses.

In the same statement, the county will consider community clinics in the future if needed, particularly in hardest hit communities.

“When somebody makes a complaint, for a minute they freeze things because that’s the job of the county to be careful and the county cleared her,” Horowitz said. “They said ‘no she did everything right’ and now she can get vaccines except we don’t have vaccines to give. It’s stuck in warehouses, you know the politicians are killing the county. We’re ready to do it but they won’t open up the door so that’s the problem.”

500 doses of the Pfizer vaccine were provided by Contra Costa County, according to the clinic, a total of 569 seniors between the ages of 65 and 100 were inoculated.

  • 411 seniors between ages of 75 and 100
  • 106 between 70 and 75
  • 52 between 65 and 70

Pfizer vials hold extra doses of the COVID vaccine to not waste the vaccine – 39 volunteers of which 29 were 55 to 64 years of age.

Any younger patient was in tier, some volunteers were in tier as healthcare workers.

“If some people slipped through the cracks, I know that can happen,” Horowitz said. “I also know that if you go to any vaccination center at the end of the day, whatever is left over they give to anybody who can take it.”

Anyone who needs help making an appointment for their second shot, call (888) 634-1123. They should get a call from the county.

The full statement from Dr. Parish’s attorney Daniel Horowitz can be found here.

Here is a the full statement on behalf of Contra Costa Health Services:

  • Contra Costa Health Services is committed to its mission of caring for and improving the health of all people in Contra Costa County with special attention to those who are most vulnerable to health problems.
  • Recently, CCHS provided doses of COVID vaccine to a private medical practice for a community vaccination effort in central county. The organizer of the clinic was made aware of and committed to federal, state and county guidelines for providing vaccine equitably and only to those in eligible phases/tiers, namely healthcare workers and those age 75 and older.
  • CCHS has stopped giving additional doses to this clinic while records are reviewed. We will ensure that Contra Costa County residents who received their first dose from this clinic are provided second doses through county vaccination sites.
  • CCHS has a special interest in providing for the health of the most vulnerable communities and those who have been historically marginalized. As we continue to develop infrastructure and evaluate the need for future community clinics and mass vaccine events, we will do so with a steadfast commitment to equity and service to the communities hardest hit by this pandemic.

According to Dr. Parish’s attorney Daniel Horowitz, the situation has been cleared up with the County on Friday, January 29th. Everyone has gotten their second shots.

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