Watch CBS News

System Glitch Has 2 Chicago Walgreens Locations Giving COVID-19 Vaccines To People Who Aren't Eligible, Tipsters Say

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Some people who are not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine under state rules are getting it anyway.

CBS 2's Tara Molina on Monday night investigated claims about a glitch in the system at Walgreens that is allowing this to happen. She took the questions about it straight to Walgreens.

The complaints we've heard are about a Walgreens at 5600 W. Fullerton Ave. in the Belmont Central neighborhood. Debby Dubow told us she is happy people are getting vaccinated, but they shouldn't be taking the place of someone the state prioritized.

"When I see something, I want to say something," Dubow said.

That is why Dubow said she reached out to us about the Belmont Central Walgreens. She said she knows people who are not eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine yet are taking appointments that should go to those who are.

"They are not frontline workers," Dubow said. "Other people who deserve to get it before them are not getting it."

Dubow said she called the store's pharmacy about it and claims they acknowledged it.

"They did know there was a glitch in the system," she said.

She said there are still people in their 40s, 50s, and 60s taking advantage of the vaccine when her own 91-year-old mother can't even get the vaccine yet.

"What upset me the most was, my mom who's 91 and lives in an independent senior community – is genuinely 1B because she's not in a nursing home – is scheduled for February 15," Dubow said. "So when I asked why they're taking so long, I was told that's the first date Walgreens gave them."

Dubow continued: "I can't fault them. They were able to take advantage of the system. My complaint is with Walgreens for allowing this to happen, knowing it was happening, and not shutting it down."

Another woman told us about a second Walgreens location at 5435 S. Kedzie Ave. in the Gage Park neighborhood doing the same thing. She wouldn't go on camera, but said she doesn't meet the state's eligibility requirements for a vaccine - but she and her husband were able to get vaccinated anyway.

We brought those claims to Walgreens to find out what is going on here, ultimately reaching their corporate media team early this afternoon.

A spokesperson said they would get us some information tonight. They responded late, with a statement that doesn't address these claims:

"Select Walgreens locations are providing vaccines to eligible frontline healthcare workers by appointment only. In order to make an appointment, individuals are required to assert they are qualified to receive a vaccine under state eligibility requirements. We continue to update eligibility criteria daily based upon changes from states which is included on the scheduling tool for patients to review prior to attesting. When individuals arrive for appointments they are required to show a valid government issued ID as confirmation they are the same individual who attested to meeting requirements to receive a vaccine."

Illinois moves into Phase 1B of the vaccination plan on Monday, Jan. 25.

In Phase 1B, anyone over 65, or considered a frontline essential worker, will be eligible to receive the shot – a total of 3.2 million people.

A website is expected to be launched this week to make an appointment.

Also From CBS Chicago:

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.