Health care worker says phones ringing off hook from worried patients after COVID-19 vaccine issues

Health care worker says phones ringing off hook from worried patients after COVID-19 vaccine issues

PITTSBURGH — A health care worker tells Channel 11 the phones have been ringing off the hook from patients worried they got the wrong shot after the state announced issues with the COVID-19 vaccine.

Second doses of the Moderna vaccine were inadvertently given out as first doses.

People have told Channel 11 they’re confused, anxious and frustrated by the entire vaccine rollout program.

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“It did feel as though blame was being laid at the feet of providers. I think they were just trying to solve a problem,” said Cornerstone Care director of clinical operations Sarah DeCarlo.

DeCarlo said she’s working to regain the trust of patients throughout Fayette, Washington, Greene and Allegheny counties. In the last few days, she said patients called with the same overwhelming concern that they received the wrong shot.

“People think the medication they’re getting in the second shot is different than what they’re getting in the first shot. There is no distinction between the first and second dose. The medication is exactly the same,” DeCarlo said.

She said when the vaccine rollout began, some providers were not given adequate instructions by the state on how to handle mass vaccinations or how to split and distribute their vaccine inventory. DeCarlo said that has now changed.

“The email communication now is very clear from the state saying, ‘We’re shipping you 200 doses. Please use 100 for first doses as you requested.’ So I think going forward, the system will even itself out,” she said.

The CDC guidelines said patients have a maximum of 42 days between getting the first and second dose.

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