Atrium Health Scrutinized Over Vaccine Priority

Atrium Health Scrutinized Over Vaccine Priority

8:08pm Dec 27, 2020

A North Carolina health care system said it is delaying COVID-19 vaccinations scheduled for next month after a controversy arose over who would get the initial round of doses.

Atrium Health said up to 97 vaccination appointments slated for January have been canceled, The Charlotte Observer reported. The action followed a report by several Charlotte television stations which cited a tweet by Atrium social media manager Katie McKiever saying she had scheduled her first vaccine appointment for early January.

According to guidance published in October, healthcare workers and medical first responders should get the vaccine first.

“The key is to get those most at risk and those who are on the frontlines risking their lives for the community. We get the vaccine to them so they can care for those who need it as others are waiting,” said Dr. Scott Rissmiller, Atrium’s executive vice president and chief physician executive.

Atrium also said it has revised its internal plan for vaccine distribution to exclude non-frontline healthcare workers from the first phase.

More than 4,000 Atrium employees have received their first dose as of Thursday afternoon, said Atrium spokesman Chris Berger. More than 10,500 scheduled their first appointment, though that volume could change again, Berger said.

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