LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Confusion over who is eligible to be vaccinated in Los Angeles County was causing frustration Thursday.
Gov. Gavin Newsom Wednesday announced that anyone age 65 and older could sign up for an appointment to get a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, but L.A. County said it was still only vaccinating healthcare workers.
But, because of the confusion, some seniors were able to get the vaccine, including David Offer’s father.
“On the screen appeared an appointment at 6:30 p.m.,” he said. “I couldn’t believe that it was really available. I thought maybe there was misinformation on the site.”
But an hour and a half after making the appointment, Offer and his father were sitting in the pharmacy at a Ralphs in Marina Del Rey waiting to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“There were two people in front of us in line,” Offer said. “We were taken within 5 or 10 minutes of our scheduled appointment.”
Offer, a West Los Angeles real estate agent, said he felt like he had won the lottery. But when word spread that Ralphs was administering doses to those in Phase 1B of the rollout, the website started crashing.
And, on Thursday morning, the website no longer listed the COVID-19 vaccine and those who had made appointments were told they were no longer eligible.
“Very confusing, very frustrating,” Lori Daitch, a West Los Angeles resident, said.
She made an appointment for her elderly mother on Wednesday, but when she called the pharmacy on Thursday, she was told her mom had to be a healthcare worker in order to get the vaccine.
“Really upset for all these people who are getting conflicting information,” Daitch said.
Kroger, the parent company for Ralphs, said the chain was following the state’s guidelines on Wednesday by offering vaccine appointments to residents over the age of 65, but were told Thursday morning by L.A. County health officials that they did not have clearance to move onto Phase 1B and were told to stop.
“We should be number one at the top of our game doing this,” Daitch said. “And the fact that, you know, it’s happening in other places, we should be doing a much better job.”
So far, California has only administered about a third of the COVID-19 vaccine it has available, despite Newsom’s promise to speed up the process.
In L.A. County, a vaccine super site has been set up at Dodger Stadium, where officials say up to 12,000 people per day can be vaccinated. The county has said it will add an additional five vaccination sites, but has not yet announced locations.
As for Ralphs, it said it has been given the green light to give the vaccine to those over 65 in surrounding areas, including the Inland Empire, Orange and Ventura counties and the city of Long Beach.