RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Several hundred people in Virginia who were not technically eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine were nonetheless told by their employers that they could get it.
More than 400 people were scheduled for a vaccination event this Sunday, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. But the event was canceled Wednesday in the wake of public criticism and after the newspaper asked why it was taking place.
Chris Shockley, president of the Virginia Credit Union, told employees Thursday in an email that “there are others in our community who need to receive the vaccine ahead of our employees, so we are adjusting our rollout.”
Financial institutions are part of Group 1c of the state’s vaccination plan and not yet eligible.
Company spokesman Glenn Birch had told the newspaper it planned to provide its community room as a vaccination site to a local pharmacy for future large-scale vaccinations aimed at employees of more than 100 area businesses. He said credit union staff could assist as volunteers and would therefore be required to be vaccinated beforehand.
The newspaper said it was unclear, however, how many of the 450 credit union and real estate employees who signed up to be vaccinated would have been asked to volunteer at future vaccination events. It was also unclear what businesses would be involved and whether their employees would have qualified to receive the vaccine under the current recommendations. Health experts have recommended that health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities be vaccinated first, followed by essential frontline workers and the elderly.
Buford Road Pharmacy in North Chesterfield would have conducted the clinic that had been scheduled for this weekend for Virginia Credit Union and Joyner Fine Properties. Virginia Credit Union recently acquired Joyner.
Joseph Jadallah, Buford’s lead pharmacist, had told the newspaper that the event was being done in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Health. He said giving shots to people who work vaccine events is common.
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