LOS GATOS, Calif. (KRON) – An opportunity for teachers in an affluent South Bay School District to take cuts in line to be vaccinated for COVID-19 has created some outrage from folks in that community.
The allegation involves the hospital returning a favor for teachers serving meals to their frontline workers last year.
“It’s like, hurry and sign up right now. Do this very quickly, and click here to say that you’re a healthcare worker. Just all seemed very rushed. Very shady,” one concerned community member said.
This person is voicing their concerns regarding an email from the superintendent of the Los Gatos Union Unified School District encouraging teachers to take advantage of an opportunity to skip ahead and get vaccinated for COVID-19 at Good Samaritan Hospital.
The email reads:
“Please go on the link below and schedule your appointment at Good Samaritan Hospital here in Los Gatos. The COO of the hospital says we can access through here and has cleared LGUSD staff to sign up under healthcare buttons.”
The problem is, however, guidance from Santa Clara County Health Department states currently they are only vaccinating eligible people in Phase 1A which includes persons 65 years of age or older and healthcare workers not teachers. It didn’t take long for word the unseemly opportunity to get it out.
“Completely offended and appalled that they were being asked to commit fraud. Because they had to click first that they are healthcare workers. Which they’re very much not. It didn’t seem right that this opportunity would be taken away from that group, to be given to teachers to facilitate these parents’ desire to have their kids back in school.”
KRON4 received a statement from the school district superintendent that reads in part:
“I completely understand concerns about the vaccine rollout, and any characterization I may have made about Good Samaritan returning a good deed was my own personal interpretation. While I apologize for that characterization, I also will continue to advocate for school staff to be a high priority for vaccinations.”
The county of Canta Clara Public Health Department sent KRON4 a copy of letter they sent to Good Samaritan Hospital as well.
“As you know, the county’s vaccine distribution agreement with Good Samaritan requires Good Samaritan to comply with all relevant California Department of Public Health and County requirements and guidance for administration of the vaccine and to ensure that the vaccine is only administered to persons eligible to be vaccinated.”
“The county will not provide Good Samaritan with any additional vaccine doses unless and until Good Samaritan provides sufficient assurances it will follow state and county direction on vaccine eligibility,” Santa Clara County Testing and Vaccine officer Dr. Marty Fenstersheib said.