Although vaccine shipments have increased in size, it’s still pretty hard for many people to find an appointment in Michigan. Even with eligibility limited to certain groups, demand for the vaccine continues to outstrip supply.
That is apparently leading some to fabricate medical conditions in order to get a spot on vaccine waiting lists, according to health officials.
Fox 17 reports that people in charge of vaccination clinics are seeing people trying to book appointments who don’t quite qualify just yet.
“Overall, we have found that most people are incredibly honest and excited about getting vaccinated,” said Anne Barna, the public information officer for the Barry-Eaton District Health Department. But that’s not always the case.
People age 50 and older are currently eligible to be vaccinated if they have a medical condition that would put them at increased risk of negative health effects from COVID-19. But clinic workers are largely working on the honor system when determining whether someone is truly eligible or not. Barna said that’s given some the opportunity to cheat the system.
In other cases, people are blatantly claiming to qualify when they do not.
In Kalamazoo County, there is a small pilot program aimed at getting Black and people of color vaccinated. Those groups are far less likely to have access to vaccination programs.
The group Mothers of Hope organized a clinic recently. Program Director Stephanie Williams said they had to turn away several people who didn’t qualify.
“We then sent them a notification saying, ‘This is a pilot program. We’re looking at a certain demographic. We apologize, but we have to cancel your appointment,'” she said. “Then what they did is they went back in and rescheduled but change their race.”
You can read more here.
Independent journalism is essential to a healthy democracy. Make a donation today.
Thank you to the community institutions that support our work: