Don’t try to skirt the ‘caregiver’ designation to get your COVID vaccine

Don’t try to skirt the ‘caregiver’ designation to get your COVID vaccine

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Coastal Health District is warning “honesty is the best policy” when it comes to signing up for the vaccine.

Caregivers are one of the groups eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in the current Phase 1A+. The director of the Coastal Health District said they’ve sent some people home who stretched the truth.

The Coastal Health District says including caregivers in Phase 1A+ was to help protect those they care for and who are most vulnerable to the virus. Leaders say they’ve rejected some people who are not playing by the rules.

The Coastal Health District is relying on people to be honest and not jump the line when trying to get vaccinated. That goes for providers giving the vaccine and those receiving it.

Director Dr. Lawton Davis says caregivers do not have to provide any form of identification showing who they take care of, but they are vetted through questioning to find out if they are a legitimate vaccine candidate for this phase.

Dr. Davis says they have turned some people away who were not eligible.

“We’ve wondered of the level of caregiver services they’re providing, but by and large most people, the vast majority, are playing by the rules,” Dr. Davis said.

The Center for Disease Control defines caregivers as people who provide care to those in need of on-going assistance with normal tasks on a daily or regular basis. Dr. Davis explains someone who would not meet caregiver criteria.

“I don’t believe it was ever intended to be a second cousin, five times removed, that’s 20 years old that comes to see great grandmama once every three months. I don’t think that’s the target population,” Dr. Davis said.

Meanwhile, the Georgia Department of Health is working to make sure providers are vaccinating the correct group of people. DPH does investigate complaints and recently suspended a Georgia medical clinic for not following protocol. That means that medical center will not receive any additional vaccine shipments for six months.

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