California’s My Turn COVID-19 vaccination appointment system riddled with flaws, officials say

California
Keyaira Escoe, a medical assistant, administers COVID-19 vaccine to Xavier Scott, 26, at a site opened by St. John’s Well Child and Family Center at the East Los Angeles Civic Center on March 3, 2021. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Keyaira Escoe, a medical assistant, administers COVID-19 vaccine to Xavier Scott, 26, at a site opened by St. John’s Well Child and Family Center at the East Los Angeles Civic Center on March 3, 2021. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

California’s My Turn COVID-19 vaccination appointment system is riddled with flaws that are making it difficult for counties to reserve vaccine appointments for targeted populations, according to local officials.

These flaws have been exploited by wealthy, privileged people to use redistributed access codes to secure appointments for vaccines that had been intended for people living in underserved communities, as The Times has previously reported.

Though California is insisting that counties prioritize vaccinating people living in the hardest-hit areas or those who work in specific front-line essential jobs, the My Turn system does not offer the flexibility to account for a county’s vaccination strategy or eligibility requirements, Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Wednesday. It is also web-based, making it inaccessible for many who are unable to use an online interface, Ferrer added.

“My Turn is wide open and you can’t restrict access to appointments … to people who are in eligible categories,” Ferrer said. For instance, L.A. County sought to hold clinics at its so-called mega-POD (point of distribution) sites on Tuesdays and Thursdays just for food and agricultural workers, “but we really had no way to restrict people in making appointments in the system if they were eligible.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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