2020 | Coronavirus

Holy Cross says more than 2,000 people who weren’t eligible for COVID-19 vaccine have signed up

Hospital system says those eligible forwarded emails to friends and family who weren’t 

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Holy Cross Health said on Saturday that more than 2,000 people who aren’t eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine have signed up, after staff members eligible for the vaccine mistakenly encouraged friends and family to get the vaccine. 

Kristin Feliciano, the chief strategy officer for Holy Cross, wrote in a statement Saturday that Holy Cross is in the process of vaccinating group 1A, which includes hospital workers, medical providers, first responders, and nursing home residents and employees. 

Feliciano wrote that the hospital system, which includes hospitals in Silver Spring and Germantown, sent an email on Wednesday to all “colleagues and active medical staff” with a link where they could sign up for a vaccine slot through PrepMod – an online system the state uses to schedule appointments.  

“That email was intended for group 1a – all of our colleagues and active medical staff,” she wrote. “Unfortunately, one or many, forwarded their email to friends and family and now it is floating around the community at large. Over 2,000 community members have signed up for spots that are meant for our healthcare workers, and that they never should have been eligible for.” 

Feliciano said in an interview with Bethesda Beat that the signup emails were marked “this is intended for you” but did not explicitly say not to share it with others. 

“So I guess we’re learning a lesson that we have to put ‘do not forward’ on our things,” she said. 

Feliciano said Holy Cross leaders became aware of what was happening on Friday. 

“We didn’t realize it was as big as it was until we could get into the state’s PrepMod system. That’s how we realized that for Monday’s clinic, we had over 600 people registered, and only 158 of them were our colleagues,” she said. 

Feliciano said similar problems with health care workers who are eligible for the vaccine sharing information about signing up for it with friends and family have also been reported in Howard County. 

Feliciano wrote in her statement Saturday that Holy Cross is alerting the community with emails, and through social media, and are working with the state and PrepMod to cancel appointments that those not eligible for the vaccine signed up for.  

“We understand and are grateful for the eagerness of the community to be vaccinated.  We are working with county and state officials to support that vaccination when the time comes,” she wrote. 

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com