01/31/2021 / By Ramon Tomey
A New Jersey hospital gave Wuhan coronavirus vaccines to ineligible people, a report said. Hunterdon Medical Center in Raritan Township administered COVID-19 vaccine doses to its donors, trustees and some relatives of its executives. The hospital vaccinated these ineligible individuals in December and early January, amid mass immunization programs meant for health workers and nursing home residents.
Local radio station New Jersey 101.5 received a list of vaccine recipients at Hunterdon from an anonymous whistleblower. Two longtime hospital donors were among the vaccine recipients included in the list. At least seven spouses and two adult children of hospital executives, administrators and medical directors also received the COVID-19 jab. Some of the recipients were in the 20s age group.
A Hunterdon spokesman said hospital officials did not receive priority treatment over eligible staff and at-risk individuals eligible for vaccination. Rather, hospital officials got the vaccine when eligible recipients were unavailable instead of letting the doses go to waste.
Spokesman Jason VanDiver said in a Jan. 28 email to CBS 3: “More than 99 percent of the doses Hunterdon Healthcare has administered so far have gone to prioritized health care workers, clinicians, seniors and at-risk individuals. When additional Hunterdon Healthcare employees or physicians wanting the vaccine could not be located before a vaccine dose expired, we vaccinated volunteers who were easily contacted and immediately available.”
VanDiver noted that these “immediately available” volunteers included board members, community members and relatives of clinic staff and the leadership team. “This was in keeping with a protocol approved by the [New Jersey Department of Health],” he continued.
In an earlier response to New Jersey 101.5, VanDiver said Hunterdon made “every effort to match the number of prepared doses to the number of scheduled vaccine recipients.”
“Only if doses were likely to go to waste were vaccines administered to individuals who did not have an appointment,” he added. (Related: Incoming CDC director to use the military and medical students to increase vaccinations across the country.)
Despite VanDiver’s explanation, two donors managed to get immunized just one day after the hospital received its first batch of doses. Based on the records given to New Jersey 101.5, longtime donors Bruce and Parry Adam were vaccinated Dec. 18. Both were vaccinated a day after Hunterdon Medical Center received an initial 975 doses. The Adams were longtime donors to the Hunterdon Healthcare Foundation – the institution managing the hospital – who contributed at least $10,000 in 2018.
Sixty-eight-year old Charles Scammell, a Hunterdon Medical Center trustee, received his first COVID-19 vaccine shot two days before Christmas. His name was included in the whistleblower’s list given to the radio station. Scammel told New Jersey 101.5 in a phone call: “I think what’s happening is not all the frontline workers are opting in. The intent is to get it to those must vulnerable, those over 65 [years old.]”
The daughter-in-law of Brian and Dorothy Foran said the couple, both 75 years old, received their vaccine doses Dec. 30. She insisted that Dorothy received a call from Hunterdon Medical due to her work as a hospital volunteer and not because of their family history. The Forans are recognizable because of their links to the late state Sen. Walter Foran. A boulevard in New Jersey is named after the late lawmaker.
The radio station reached out to the other vaccine recipients in the list for comment, but most did not respond. (Related: Health freedom advocates file informed consent lawsuit to exempt all persons from mandatory vaccination.)
On Jan. 13, Hunterdon Healthcare Foundation invited donors to get in touch with it to “help schedule a vaccine appointment” as soon as they become eligible. It informed donors to call Director of Major Gifts Steve Lapicki to facilitate appointments. The letter emphasized that vaccine eligibility and schedules need to follow strict guidelines set by the state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“While the timeline for an individual to receive the vaccine may be complicated, the foundation is here to help you. This does not mean you will receive the vaccine prior to the category under which you fall. Rather, [this means] that we will assist you in navigating a process that is rapidly-changing and can sometimes be complex,” the letter said.
Hunterdon Healthcare Foundation Senior Vice President Phil Beekman emphasized in a Jan. 26 interview that donors did not receive preferential treatment in registering for doses. “It cannot be more important for us to follow the state guidelines,” he said.
Tagged Under: biased, Hunterdon Healthcare Foundation, Hunterdon Medical Center, Hunterdon vaccine scandal, mass immunization, New Jersey, New Jersey 101.5, rigged, scandal, vaccine doses, vaccine wars, vaccines, whistle-blower, Wuhan coronavirus
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