Atrium Health cancels 97 COVID-19 vaccinations after some people incorrectly approved

CHARLOTTE — Atrium Health announced on Thursday that 97 employees will have their COVID-19 vaccination appointments canceled after some people were incorrectly approved for the vaccine before frontline workers.

Channel 9 started investigating Atrium Health’s vaccine rollout last week when people who don’t work directly with patients were cleared for the vaccine.

The state said that was a mistake and it would be fixed.

A social media manager at the hospital tweeted that she will be getting a shot in a few weeks.

[North Carolina sees COVID-19 hospitalizations top 3,000 for second day in a row]

She released a statement Wednesday saying she frequently goes into hospitals and locations as a part of her job and she is grateful to get state approval.

State officials said: “The state does not have the ability to individually approve recipients of tens of thousands of doses each week. Hospitals must confirm that the people they vaccinate meet the guidance. As part of the vaccine provider agreement, all vaccine providers agreed to follow the state’s vaccine guidance. Balancing maximum impact of the vaccine with priority needs of North Carolinians requires providers to follow the state guidance as doses are distributed across the state each week.”

Last week, the state said some hospitals uploaded all employees to the state’s vaccine management system when only 1A workers should have been added to the database.

That resulted in all employees getting a 1A designation. The state said this would be corrected.

Channel 9 sent a follow-up email asking if it would be corrected, but we have not gotten a response.

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Atrium Health said it uses a tiered approach with frontline health care workers and clinical partners being offered the vaccine first. A spokesperson said teammates who are in various locations due to their roles are in the latest group to be invited to schedule appointments.

Atrium Health full statement:

“Under guidance provided by the state and federal regulators, all health care workers are considered Priority 1A to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Before anyone can receive the vaccine, the state must approve each person to receive the vaccine. Within Atrium Health, we have established an internal process with a tiered system for those approved by the state, which ensures our frontline healthcare workers and clinical partners are offered the doses ahead of anyone else, with teammates in other roles being invited to get their vaccinations afterward. Teammates who are in our various locations due to their roles are among the latest group to be invited to schedule appointments.

“With the initial allocations of the vaccine we have received, it has been our intent to vaccinate our healthcare workers, to protect them, as individuals, and help ensure a healthy workforce to care for the community during the current increase in patient volumes. Our vaccine allocations are based on delivering a certain number of weekly doses, so we have scheduled appointments to make sure no dose of this valuable, life-saving vaccine goes unused or to waste. As of Tuesday, we’ve given the initial dose of the vaccine to more than 3,000 healthcare workers, with another 9,500 having scheduled their first dose vaccine appointments and another 9,500 scheduled to receive their second vaccine dose.

“Atrium Health will continue to work with local, state and federal guidance as we plan the logistics of how the general population will receive the vaccine, including the registration process for them to receive it. We are using these first few weeks to test our processes so that we are ready to do our part in the effort to vaccinate our community, including testing the set up at vaccination sites we will be establishing to support the broader public health initiative.