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Vaccine Access Code Abuse Discovered

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Sacramento, CA — California Governor Gavin Newsom says the state is revamping a program aimed at vaccinating residents in underserved communities.

After opening mass vaccination clinics in Oakland and Los Angeles, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services provided general access codes to about 1,000 community organizations so that groups could help sign up people for set aside slots. The state notes that there has been a higher transmission rate in Black and Latino communities. The organizations were supposed to ensure that everyone signing up met the current criteria, which is 65 and older, or working in select essential sectors.

However, the state learned that the codes were being passed along via email, and many people who did not match the criteria were signing up for the spots. The abuse was discovered when a church and daycare center both raised concerns about the slots filling up so quickly.

Asked about it this week, Governor Gavin Newsom stated, “We’re going to go away from group codes to individual codes. We don’t like to see those abuses.”

State officials say it is unclear how many people received vaccinations that shouldn’t have. The state will start using individual codes for each person signing up next week, and not a mass code, in hopes of avoiding future-related issues.