Coloradans turned away at COVID vaccine appointments due to overbooking

COVID-19 Vaccine
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DENVER (KDVR) — Coloradans are working hard to book their COVID vaccine appointments. Some traveling as far as Texas to get it done.

But those staying in the area to get their vaccine told FOX31 and Channel 2 that despite the time and effort in booking their vaccine appointment they showed up and were turned away.

“A volunteer came to speak to me saying we’ve run out so sorry,” Ruth Schleifer, who was turned away from her first vaccine appointment said. 

Schleifer said her 2 p.m. appointment with Safeway was overbooked. She said between 150 to 200 cars behind her waiting for their vaccines were also turned away. 

“I understand medication errors happen. But 150 to 200 short. Something’s not right,” Schleifer said. 

After being turned away from her first appointment she said she booked an appointment with the El Paso County Health Department the next day and was able to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

Libby Alvarez went through a similar experience when she showed up for her vaccine appointment 50 miles away from her home in Centennial. 

“I called to confirm they had the vaccine for me. They told me it wasn’t needed to call if I had an appointment,” Alvarez said. 

When Alvarez showed up at the Colorado Springs King Soopers she said she was told they would have to reschedule. 

“They told me they did not have a vaccine for me and said Kroger automatically over books the vaccine in case people don’t show up,” Alvarez said. 

She told FOX31 and Channel 2 that as of Monday night she still hasn’t heard from Kroger about rescheduling her appointment.  

A representative with Safeway stated: 

“We unintentionally over scheduled some appointments at two clinics this past weekend. We recognized this mistake on Friday, corrected the error and contacted/apologized to these patients immediately and rescheduled appointments for this week. We deeply regret this occurred and we were able to contact and reschedule most patients.”

King Soopers also responded to our statement request: 

“Our patients should feel confident that if they receive an appointment confirmation, we have a dose available for them. We are aware of a small number of instances that our system is allowing double booking and our company is working diligently to prevent this from happening. Our pharmacy teams are committed to helping ‘make it right’ for these patients by manually scheduling them for the soonest available time slot. Also, please have the customer reach out to me, or get their permission for you to forward their contact information and I will help secure an appointment for them.”

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