Day by day, more and more people are receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations throughout the country. As of April 6, according to Gov. Ned Lamont, every Connecticut adult over the age of 16 is eligible to receive their vaccination, but there are still guidelines.
Pharmacies and different testing sites across the U.S. have vaccinated those who have signed up, but one site in particular has seen some issues within the past few weeks.
According to the Associated Press, CVS of Waterford, Conn. has vaccinated 318 New York residents compared to 301 Connecticut residents, as well as residents from ten other states. The vaccination of New York residents in Connecticut was due to an online computer glitch that allowed individuals to enter Long Island addresses and be directed to the Waterford site.
Connecticut Health Officials would show up to the site and find 10 people at that time in line to receive their vaccines, none of whom were actually eligible according to state guidelines.
“We need most people to be vaccinated to tame the spread of COVID-19. However, at the time the New Yorkers were vaccinated at the Connecticut CVS, appointments weren’t necessarily easy to find. If the New Yorkers took appointments Connecticut residents could have had, that’s not okay,” said Christina Gunther, Program Director of Health Sciences at Sacred Heart University.
At the vaccination site, police were called when New York residents refused to leave the line after being caught by health officials. According to the Associated Press, no arrests were made at that time.
State officials instructed those at CVS not to allow for those who received their first shot at the CVS to receive their second one there due to the error. Those who wrongfully received their first shot in Connecticut were assisted in finding a second shot in their home state.
“Whether they realized they were taking advantage of a computer glitch or not is difficult to know,” said Gunther. “CVS responded by scheduling second dose vaccines in New York. That’s all they could do, really. Administering the second doses was a matter of public health. They had to be given.”
Health Officials urge those who would like to receive their COVID-19 vaccine to keep an eye out for updates from nearby testing sites.
“I am very happy that people got vaccinated, but it is unfortunate that some Connecticut individuals were not able to receive vaccines because of the glitch, and New York residents took their spots. The bigger issue is that CVS accidentally allowed it, and I am glad it was corrected,” said sophomore Jayden Dean.
Since this incident, according to the Associated Press, the Waterford CVS has updated their eligibility requirements on their website and will be making sure those vaccinated at their site receive their other dose under applicable guidelines.