Santa Clara Co. Transfers Thousands of Vaccine Appointments to Kaiser

Because of low and unpredictable coronavirus vaccine supply from the state, Santa Clara County has transferred thousands of appointments, county officials said Wednesday.

About 8,500 appointments for Kaiser Permanente patients scheduled through the county between now and March 21 will be transferred to Kaiser to reschedule.

The reason for the transfer is because the state has “assured” Kaiser that it will have sufficient vaccine for its members, whereas the county received “no such commitment” for residents uninsured and vulnerable, county officials said.

Despite getting an additional allocation of the single-shot 7,500 Johnson & Johnson vaccines, the county only received 3,000 more doses than it did last week. That is because the county received 1,400 less Moderna shots and 3,510 less Pfizer vaccines than it had the week before, according to county data.

But this is not because the state has gotten less Moderna and Pfizer vaccine. On the contrary, the state received 29,900 more Moderna shots and 40,950 more Pfizer shots.

The state has allocated 40 percent of vaccines to be targeted to 400 lower-income ZIP codes in the state, but no ZIP codes have been identified in Santa Clara County—which may explain why its allocations were lower this week, county testing director Dr. Marty Fenstersheib said at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

“We are not included ... so again our equity efforts are jeopardized with the insufficient vaccines and the focus that the state has on everywhere else but us,” he said.

At a news conference last week, county Supervisor Cindy Chavez said the state needed to “treat all [counties] fairly,” noting the high and disproportionate Covid-19 positivity rates in East San Jose and South County.

The county has the capacity to inoculate 12,000 to 15,000 people a day, but supply constraints allow the county to give 8,000 shots daily, Fenstersheib said.

All the people transferred are Kaiser members under the age of 75, according to the county’s public health department.

The public health department also noted that Kaiser will prioritize vaccine appointments through its system for those patients being transferred.

“The decision to transfer these patients back to Kaiser for their vaccine appointments was made after careful consideration of the available options,” the public health department explained in a statement. “This transfer of appointments will prevent additional cancellations of vaccination clinics and appointments.”

As of Wednesday, the county has not canceled any appointments because of vaccine supply, it has only transferred those 8,500 Kaiser patients, according to the county’s emergency operations center.

The county maintains that its main priority in terms of inoculation is to ensure vaccine access for communities most impacted by Covid-19.

9 Comments

  1. My spouse had her second shot appointment cancelled by the County and yesterday after a two hour wait on the Kaiser line, the representative checked all the way to Sacramento, no appointments anytime. Today the phone line simply says “No vaccination appointments available” and won’t even accept calls. Kaiser spokesperson are not aligned with reality! What the heck type of public health system plays games like this with people’s lives?

  2. I was supposed to get my second shot on the 12th and was canceled. I am 67 and have asthma so this concerns me. I tried calling right after getting the email from the county and Kaiser wasn’t answering their phone. I went online to the COVID vaccine site on Kaiser and booked my appointment on March 31st. This is one day away from the 6 week mark between my vaccinations. I got an email from Kaiser last night saying someone will be reaching out to me in a few days?? I have contacted my primary doctor and she is trying to help but I feel Kaiser really should have let their vaccinations go to the county as they were handling it better.

  3. My wife and I are long term Kaiser members and really appreciate the wonderful healthcare support that we receive through them. We are 71 and 67. We couldn’t get the vaccines though Kaiser after trying in early 2021.
    We were wondering why Kaiser was possibly being punished by the state due to previous situations last year.? Kaiser even directed us to book our shots with anyone outside Kaiser which we did with the county. We wondered why?
    We got our first shots on 2-19-21 at Levis stadium and they did an outstanding job and were scheduled for our 2nd shots yesterday the 12th. My wife had no problem checking in and getting hers but with me they said it was cancelled and had to go to Kaiser for it? I was not notified by the County or Kaiser! The fabulous SCC team there did finally get me the 2nd shot and I’m very thankful to them and God.
    I recommend that Kaiser consider with over 8 + million CA members should have an information booth at these sites for the people that had to go to Kaiser for their next shots. FYI, Kaiser is a non profit and Blue Shield is not and Blue Shield has contributed to the Governor elections and has influential lobbyist’s in Sacramento. Is this political motivated? Now it looks like 40% of those doses scheduled are now going to other “equity” counties other than the 95127 zip code where we live and is where the virus has one of the highest infection and death rates of all the counties in the state.
    Where is the equity now? Not in Santa Clara zip codes.
    Ben

  4. Just received an email this afternoon about cancellation of my 2nd shot appointment for Levi’s next Tuesday. Tried going online to schedule for Kaiser, and it wouldn’t offer any option for those of us getting our second shot. I am now on hold, waiting indefinitely for a human to answer in hopes of scheduling the appointment. This is beyond frustrating, especially given the time I had to spend scheduling the first vaccine appointment to begin with. T I imagine it will be a nightmare of hours wasted to get another appt scheduled. Been on Kaiser since birth, but this just makes me wish I was with another provider. My sister gets to keep her appt and my brother law was able to walk into a pharmacy at the last minute and get his first shot without any appt/waiting. They are of course not on Kaiser….ughh!!!

  5. I’m in the same exact boat as you. My appointment for Tuesday the 23rd was cancelled. I’ve been on hold for 2 hours now.

  6. FYI, I was able to reschedule at a Kaiser location on the 23rd after being on hold for 3 hours. The lady on the phone was super nice. She said there were a few appointments left for that day.

  7. Such garbage to cancel a 2nd appointment. What if we cannot get the 2nd shot? Then they have to start over. Aka another 1st and 2nd. Thats 3 shots. And we already have a shortage. Does that make any sense?

  8. Kaiser was handling this great. And then the county suddenly dumped thousands of patients on them last minute. Why be mad at Kaiser? This is a county issue. My mothers email from the county said that Kaiser was sent her dose – that’s an outright lie. As indicated above, their dose wasn’t redirected, just that Kaiser has a better supply guarantee.

    We need to hold the elected officials accountable. They should have neither a vaccine or a hospital bed if they get sick until this is corrected. Those responsible should be the last in line because of their mismanagement and corruption.

  9. What a mess! A couple of days ago, I waited for over 30 minutes to input information into the Kaiser system. I assumed that’d be all I needed to do. The only appointments available were over an hour away. Today I checked the site and it would only take those who wanted the first dose. Now on hold for nearly 30 minutes with Kaiser. My appointment with the county was one week away. I was planning to take a trip to help my daughter who is ill.
    Now I may end up cancelling the trip and having to do the entire process over — three shots total. The state should’ve allowed those who already had the first dose to get the second one, and said all those who need the first should go to their doctors/insurance. Maybe the state wanted to punish Kaiser, or maybe the state wanted to play games, but either way, the state bigwigs get their shots and we don’t. Once again we’re the losers!