Kaiser and Santa Clara County officials in a dispute over second doses of vaccines
JULIETTE GOODRICH: Looking live out of San Jose, a vaccine bottleneck is creating a domino effect in Santa Clara County. County health officials say insufficient supply forced thousands of appointments for Kaiser patients to be canceled, and as KPIX 5's Wilson Walker explains tonight, it's all sparking a round of finger pointing over who is responsible.
KAI BROWN: Basically, what happened was I started getting emails from my members on Thursday that Levi's Stadium was sending them cancellation notices.
WILSON WALKER: Chi Brown is a science teacher and his union president, but plans to get all of his members fully vaccinated with their second shots hit an unexpected snag late this week.
KAI BROWN: Instead of the county doing the second vaccination, it was going to be done through their health care provider, when all of these were Kaiser members.
WILSON WALKER: This afternoon, Kaiser issued a pointed statement on the situation reading in part, "Santa Clara County has created this issue for itself and thousands of its vaccine patients by not accounting for second doses," unquote, basically, accusing them of not keeping enough vaccine on hand. Well, hours later, the county accused Kaiser of mismanaging its supply saying, quote, "By reserving second doses, they have built a hoard of vaccine that could be used to fulfill all transferred appointments."
The county's assertion here is that the State told them not to reserve those second doses because more were coming, only to have deliveries reduced.
GAVIN NEWSOM: Everybody was kept with a baseline. We didn't take the baseline. It's the increment that I know has created a little stress.
WILSON WALKER: The governor mentioned the situation yesterday just before promising that the bottlenecks would end by late April.
GAVIN NEWSOM: Because supply will exponentially increase.
WILSON WALKER: Meantime, Kaiser has been picking up all of those second-dose appointments for Kaiser patients that were canceled at county sites like Levi's.
KAI BROWN: About halfway through Friday, Kaiser began to actually call people back and start scheduling them.
WILSON WALKER: Now, Kaiser, which says it does want to return to a collaborative relationship with the county, also says it will be filing a complaint based on the county's actions with the Department of Health and Human Services. In Santa Clara, Wilson Walker, KPIX 5.