By Jon Levine
January 2, 2021 | 12:56pm | Updated January 2, 2021 | 12:57pm
A second California hospital has been busted for giving the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to its employees’ relatives — instead of using the doses for the elderly or frontline workers.
Southern California Hospital allowed its workers to invite relatives to get vaccinated — just as another area hospital did last week, sparking criticism.
“The hospital had planned on vaccinating all of their employees, but a large number of their staff declined and they were sitting on a lot of thawed vaccines,” a woman vaccinated at Southern California Hospital told the Orange County Register. “‘They offered police officers, firefighters and first-responders to get vaccinated and also told employees they could invite four family members.”
The Culver City hospital eventually became inundated with requests from the general public and was forced to revert to only vaccinating frontline workers.
Any decision by a hospital to treat staff relatives flies in the face of Centers for Disease Control guidelines, which call for them to be inoculated during later stages of the vaccine rollout.
Southern California Hospital is the second facility busted in the Golden State giving “extra” doses of vaccine to family members.
Earlier this week, a Disney worker in California bragged on Facebook that she was able to obtain the vaccine because of an in-law who was a “big deal’’ at Redlands Community Hospital.
“After physicians and staff who expressed interest in the vaccine were administered, there were several doses left,” the hospital told the Register. “Because the reconstituted Pfizer vaccine must be used within hours or be disposed of, several doses were administered to non-front line healthcare workers so that valuable vaccine would not be thrown away.
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