COVID vaccine accidentally given to non-frontline Stanford Medical staff early

STANFORD, Calif. (KRON) — Some Stanford Medical School staff who do not treat COVID-19 patients were accidentally vaccinated this weekend ahead of schedule.

It’s not the first time the prestigious institution has made mistakes during their vaccine rollout.

“I was up at the window, I said I’m not a clinical person they said that’s fine and I went forward and they gave me the vaccination,” Stephen Montgomery said.

Montgomery is an associate professor of genetics and pathology at the Stanford School of Medicine. He does not interact with COVID-19 patients and rarely even goes to the labs at the medical school, but he was able to get a vaccination the day after Christmas.

An email was sent to faculty members that read, in part: “We were just notified through word of mouth that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is available for non clinical staff, apparently they had an excess of it.” 

Stanford Medicine now says that incorrect information lead to some ineligible employees getting the shot.

“It’s kind of not the process that you’d want to have,” Montgomery said. “Nobody wants to put anybody else in jeopardy by getting a vaccination out of sequence or a turn or anything like that.”

This is not Stanford’s first misstep during the vaccine rollout.

Back in mid December, frontline health care staffers held a protest after learning that most residents and fellows were not being offered the shot in the first wave. Stanford apologized, blaming it on a flawed algorithm used to selection the first workers to get the vaccine.

Now in response to this latest snafu, Stanford Medicine released a statement saying they were working hard to rapidly vaccinate their healthcare workforce under unprecedented conditions.

“At this time, Stanford Medicine is administering vaccines only to patient-facing health care workers. We have addressed this issue and are confident that we will continue quickly vaccinating the entire Stanford Medicine community through an ethical and equitable process.”

Stanford Medicine didn’t elaborate on how many people were mistakenly given their vaccine out of order. 

Associate Professor Montgomery wasn’t sure exactly what tier he’s in, but he believes he only got the vaccine only a few weeks earlier than he would have any way and he encourages everyone to get one themselves — when it’s their turn.

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