Residents of Santa Clara County on Tuesday might have received a text message that said local medical providers had “extra” COVID-19 vaccines and to register for an appointment.
According to the county, these texts originated from “unofficial sources” and health providers are still only vaccinating residents in the state’s vaccination Phase 1A, which includes health care workers and long-term care residents.
The county is still investigating the source of these text messages and does not know how many people received the communication about the “extra” vaccines.
Supervisor Joe Simitian said he received multiple communications Tuesday about this text asking individuals to sign up for a vaccine.
“I’m worried that this could just be the tip of the iceberg,” said Simitian. “If someone is able to fundamentally undermine confidence in our sign-up system that has potentially catastrophic consequences.”
County executive Jeff Smith said that erroneous texts bypassed the state platform (CalVax) for signing up for a vaccination appointment. That website is not under purview of the county.
“We’re going to communicate with the state to figure out how to get the security better on the program,” Smith said. “At the same time, we’re going to be expanding our population of service so we don’t want the left hand to say ‘No don’t show up,’ while the right hand is saying, ‘Yeah show up.'”
It is likely that health care providers across the South Bay will soon expand to vaccinating in Phase 1B Tier 1, which includes individuals age 75 and older, as well as other essential workers.
The county reminds all residents that the best way to check if they are currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, is to visit the county’s website at sccfreevax.org.
This is the official source for vaccine-related information in Santa Clara County and includes information on scheduling vaccination appointments if a resident is eligible.
To ensure that they meet eligibility criteria for vaccination, every person will be asked to provide verification of their status upon arrival to a vaccination site for their appointment.
Contact Madelyn Reese at [email protected] and follow her @MadelynGReese on Twitter.
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