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'It's Panic': CareWell Urgent Care Patients Concerned 2nd Vaccine Doses Will Be Canceled

CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – CareWell Urgent Care clinics have notified some patients that appointments for their second COVID-19 vaccine will be postponed, if not canceled altogether.

"They told us they weren't going to have second doses available," said Judy Weinstock of Cambridge.

She and her husband, Doug Weinstock, received their first dose of the Moderna vaccine last week – only to be told days later by their physician that they couldn't secure their second shots.

"They couldn't guarantee because they didn't have second doses in stock and they didn't know if DPH would be giving them any more," Doug Weinstock said.

CareWell Urgent Care CEO, Shaun Ginter, released this statement, blaming the state for a vaccine supply shortage:

"We have been following the news reports about vaccination anxieties. First, we apologize for any additional stress people have experienced during this trying time. Concern about postponed appointments is completely understandable. However, suggesting these appointments will be permanently canceled is premature.  

We at CareWell Urgent Care are assured by state officials that they are actively working on our request for second doses for all of our patients. These doses could arrive in our clinics as early as next week.  We hope to keep as many current appointments as planned.  But should a shipment be delayed, we will reschedule those appointments and bring patients in for their second doses immediately after the new doses arrive.  

CareWell is committed to working closely with the state to bring vaccines to our communities in the safest and most efficient way possible. According to the state's daily vaccine report, Massachusetts providers have administered about 1.1 million first doses. So far, only about 480,000 second doses have been administered. As we reported to the state, a total of 7,200 first doses were given at our CareWell Urgent Care clinics. We are confident everyone who has been scheduled for a second shot will receive it within the recommended interval.  

We will continue to communicate our plans as they develop."

"It's panic," Cambridge state Rep. Marjorie Decker told WBZ-TV. "It's just panic, like, 'Oh no, what now?'"

It's the uncertainly, Rep. Decker said, that has her outraged.

"When we send out emails that say, 'You can't come back for your second dose. Oh wait a minute, yes, you can.' That is not good for public trust in a public health crisis," said Rep. Decker (D-Cambridge).

The Baker administration told WBZ-TV in an email that second doses will be guaranteed for those with appointments, adding that they're waiting on CareWell Urgent Care to report their full vaccination logs before they deliver a second shipment.

"I wondered what would happen and what the hassle would be," said Doug Weinstock.

He and his wife are still in limbo about whether their second doses will arrive on time for the vaccine to be effective. The Cambridge couple is worried this fiasco will jeopardize people's faith in the vaccination process – not only for seniors, but for people of color and the public.

"Be exacerbated for those who already, for good reason, have skepticism about the system, about medical care, etc," Doug Weinstock said.

Rep. Decker says if the second dose is behind by a day or two, or a week, that's still OK. It's anything more than that that she will become concerned.

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