California hospital COO disciplined over vaccine scandal

The COO of Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, Calif., has been disciplined and a further review is underway after the hospital allowed local school district staff to receive COVID-19 vaccines ahead of groups with priority, according to The Mercury News

Santa Clara County barred Good Samaritan Hospital from receiving more COVID-19 vaccines, beyond what it needs to complete vaccination of people who already received an initial dose, after the hospital broke protocol and vaccinated teachers and staff with Los Gatos (Calif.) Union School District. California is in phase 1a of vaccine distribution, which covers healthcare workers and long-term facility residents. 

Hospital spokesperson Sarah Sherwood confirmed to The Mercury News Jan. 26 that "disciplinary action has been taken" against COO Gary Purushotham after the hospital broke vaccine distribution protocol. 

Santa Clara County said it will allow the hospital to receive more COVID-19 vaccine doses when the hospital submits a plan that follows state and county guidelines. Good Samaritan CEO Joe DeSchryver said the hospital will submit a plan by Jan. 29 "that includes stronger checks and balances." 

"While vaccine storage limitations and fluctuating availability have been a challenge, we want to reassure our community we have had only positive intentions throughout the vaccination process," Mr. DeSchryver told The Mercury News. "We regret the mistake we made in our efforts to use all vaccines prior to expiration."

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