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Lost in the shuffle

Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 8:33 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) -Lost in the shuffle--That’s how on Fargo health care worker felt as she spent her day scrambling to get her second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

As a PRN for a local nursing home, she was given her first shot of the Pfizer vaccine. Twenty-one days later, she came to work for her second dose, only to be turned away.

She contacted the Valley News Live Whistleblower Hotline saying she was no longer employed and because of this, her original provider told her she’d need to go elsewhere to get her second shot.

Doctors at Sanford Health say it’s something they’ve seen a lot of and that they’re working to make sure people don’t fall through the cracks.

“We’ve run into this. Someone that was working in a facility or is a resident with a long-term care facility receives their first dose of the vaccine,” Sanford Health’s VP Medical Officer Dr. Doug Griffin says. “Then they’re either discharged, changing employment or not there anymore, but they need that second dose of the vaccine. It’s an issue.”

In the case of the whistleblower, she was able to get her second dose at the new Gordman’s Community Clinic after some serious leg work. That hasn’t been the case for everyone.

“We are working on it,” Dr. Griffin says. “We are getting documentation to try and accommodate those allocated second doses.”

Dr. Griffin says it’s essential they keep track of who has received the shot, during a time when supply is critically low.

“The supply is far, far lower than the demand even amongst those patients in the highest, highest risk,” he says.

He adds they’ve made the local health department aware of the problem. We asked Fargo Cass Public Health what steps they’re taking to make sure everyone completes the vaccine series.

They told us they wouldn’t grant an interview, choosing instead to send us an e-mail saying they are working to develop a process to assist individuals in this situation, but will not discuss it until it is “fully developed.”

The health department says if you find yourself in a similar situation, you should call them at (701)-241-1360.

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