PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - The way people sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine has changed at the mass vaccination site in Portland after hospital officials say people cheated the system to get the shot.
Weeks ago, when All4Oregon, the mass vaccination site at the Oregon Convention Center, was trying to quickly get healthcare workers and educators vaccinated, eligible people were sent a link to sign up.
Brian Terrett with Legacy Health, who is also a spokesperson for All4Oregon, said they quickly discovered some people were widely sharing these links to people who didn’t qualify.
“We had one circumstance where a link was shared with a group so they could schedule their second dose,” he said. “We had 825 people actually schedule their second dose using that link that was originally designed for, I think, 10 people.”
Terrett said these vaccination sign-up links were abused by hundreds of people, and they’re outraged by those who lied. He said he isn’t sure exactly how many people received a vaccine this way.
But FOX 12 spoke to several people who were vaccinated this way and said they feel misled by friends or family members who sent them the link. They thought the hospitals needed participants to sign up to help test a new system and create a more efficient process.
They didn’t want to go on camera.
Perhaps what began as dishonesty, turned into a game of telephone, and spiraled out of control.
“No matter how well-intentioned somebody is, the problem is somebody who may receive that link may not be as well-intentioned,” said Terrett.
Legacy Health, first asked to develop an easy sign-up process that relied on honesty, had to disable those links a month ago and begin sending everyone through the same often difficult-to-schedule GetVaccinated.Oregon.gov website.
Now individualized links are sent to eligible people, with a one-time use.
Terrett wanted to remind people that it would be impossible to make sure everyone who comes to the vaccination site qualifies. They see 1,100 people every hour. It would slow down distribution for everyone immensely.