Sutter Health could cancel up to 90K vaccine appointments

Sutter says the cancellations are partly due to impacts from weeks of bad weather that resulted in nationwide shipment delays.

Video Transcript

SEAN SHEIK: Sorry, I'm upset.

- It's the last thing 80-year-old Sean Sheik wanted to hear.

SEAN SHEIK: We need to reschedule you.

- Sutter Health suddenly canceled his second dose vaccine appointment scheduled for Tuesday morning, giving no opportunity to reschedule.

SEAN SHEIK: It should not happen.

- After showing up to the Sutter Health Clinic in Santa Clara County, Sheik received this flyer and was told--

SEAN SHEIK: She says the system does not allow because they don't have the vaccine.

- Aside from Santa Clara, viewers are reporting the same issues in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Alameda Counties, one writing, "Checked on site. Says all doses canceled until further notice." Sutter Health confirmed more than 90,000 first and second dose appointments could be canceled due to a delay of shipments stemming from bad weather to miscommunication from the state.

The health care system told ABC 7, "We are in the process of notifying patients with a second dose appointments scheduled through March 9 to let them know that their current appointment needs to be canceled due to insufficient supply. We will call them in 7 to 10 days to reschedule." Sutter added they are urgently requesting more doses from the state and Blue Shield, claiming the state misunderstood their inventory of first and second doses.

PAUL MARKOVICH: The data from Sutter Health was not getting cleanly through to the state, and so the state has believed for multiple weeks that Sutter had a large inventory of doses. But that wasn't true.

- Blue Shield CEO Paul Markovich says the first incoming batch of doses for Sutter should arrive by early next week.

PAUL MARKOVICH: We are going to be putting a lot more doses toward Sutter in the next couple of weeks so that they can reschedule those appointments, as opposed to cancel them.

- Markovich added Sutter's situation is why all providers should be linked on a performance management system in order to keep an accurate inventory count so immunocompromised essential workers like Sheik aren't left waiting.

SEAN SHEIK: We all go to work with a lot of fear.

- We reached out to the California Department of Public Health for further comment, but have yet to hear back.