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Jefferson County cancels some COVID-19 vaccine appointments after residents use unauthorized signup link

Jefferson County cancels some COVID-19 vaccine appointments after residents use unauthorized signup link

BJC begins vaccinating frontline caregivers

A vial of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine sits awaiting the next recipient on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020, at the Washington University School of Medicine campus in St. Louis as BJC began the first round of vaccinations for frontline health care workers. Photo by Christian Gooden,

ST. LOUIS — The Jefferson County Health Department is canceling some COVID-19 vaccine appointments after some residents signed up through an unauthorized link.

A private registration link for two upcoming vaccine clinics was shared on social media, and over 1,900 people used it to make appointments, according to a news release from the health department.

The health department said that while people may not have realized that they were using an unauthorized link, those individuals’ appointments will be canceled.

“We recognize that this may cause frustration for impacted individuals, but it is the only way to honor the legitimate registrations of those who completed the process and waited their turn in line for an appointment,” department Director Kelley Vollmar said in a statement. “Registration links are meant specifically for the individual who receives the email and is their personal opportunity to receive the vaccine. If the link is made public or shared with others, then it robs other invitees of the same opportunity to receive their long-awaited vaccine.”

This is at least the second time an area health department has turned away people who registered using unauthorized links. St. Clair County officials said hundreds, from as far away as California, had gamed the system to make appointments to get the vaccine at the Belle-Clair Fairgrounds earlier this month. The county turned unqualified registrants away.

The Jefferson County vaccine clinics are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday at the First Baptist Church of Arnold. The department said it will administer 1,200 doses each day.

Health department staff will contact those people whose appointments have been canceled, by email and telephone.

The Jefferson County health department has an online form where residents can sign up to be notified when a vaccination appointment is available for them. Visit the health department website, and click on the “COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Survey.” Those without computer or internet access can call the county’s vaccine registration line at 636-789-8941.

Missouri reported 727 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, up from 560 the day before. The seven-day average of new cases rose slightly, to 517, from 516 the day before, but is still well below the beginning of the month. The seven-day average was 1,312 on Feb. 1, according to a Post-Dispatch analysis. The state also reported eight more deaths due to the virus.

Missouri reported on Thursday that 756,334 people have received a first dose of vaccine, or 12.3% of the population, up from 726,367 the day before. And of those, 6.1% have received a second dose.

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