The Northridge Hospital Medical Center violated Los Angeles County rules when it provided coronavirus vaccines to teachers and staff at the Wesley School in North Hollywood, county officials said this week.
Teachers and other school employees are not currently authorized by the Los Angeles County Health Department to receive doses for the vaccine.
The Wesley School’s interim head, Julie Galles, said the school did not seek out the vaccines. But she did not clarify how the inoculations occurred.
The incident raised concerns about how equitable vaccine distribution is in the county, especially with shortages and other logistical issues hampering distribution, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“The County Department of Public Health has reported this incident to the state, and has informed the provider that this action violates the tier system now in place in L.A. County, under which only healthcare providers and people 65-plus are being vaccinated,” public relations manager Sienna Spencer-Markles said in a statement. “We have been assured there will not be a repeat of this violation.”
Besides an official reprimand, the Times reported that there does not appear to be any penalty for the school or hospital involved. The Wesley School in North Hollywood charges tuition of about $30,000 a year. Parents at the school include the Northridge Hospital Medical Center’s chief financial officer, Douglas Brown.
Galles declined to answer questions about any connection between Brown‘s position at the school and Wesley’s employees receiving the vaccine, the Times reported.
Brown said in a statement that the hospital had intended “a good faith effort to help essential workers and educators.”
“Northridge Hospital remains committed to continuing to support vaccination efforts and do our part to end the COVID crisis,” he added. -AP