THIS FAT OLD LADY’S WTF WEDNESDAY – CAUGHT IN THE SANTA CLARA COUNTY VS KAISER VACCINATION WARS

The State of California has put Blue Shield and Kaiser Permanente in charge of COVID vaccine allocation.

Before that, each County was in charge of their own vaccination rollout.  Santa Clara County (where I live) was (and still is) doing a great job.  A much better job than, let’s say, Kaiser (my HMO). 

I, along with many other Kaiser-insureds got tired of waiting for Kaiser to get current with the vaccination tiers (i.e., Tier 1a – people over 75, healthcare workers, nursing home residents, etc.; Tier 1b – people over 65, etc.).  We set up appointments through the County.

I got my first vaccination through the County.  It went great.  They have a good set up and are churning out the vaccinations.  And I set up my appointment for dose 2 with the County.

The day after I got my first vaccination, Kaiser (finally) sent me a link to make an appointment to get my first shot.  I did not respond, but I did provide my primary physician with my vaccination status.  I also filled out a Kaiser questionnaire about my vaccination status.

Then I started hearing about Kaiser-insureds were getting their appointments with the County cancelled! 

WTF?

Turns out, Kaiser is refusing to allocate vaccine to the County for people who are Kaiser members. 

Even people who already have an appointment for their second shot.

WTF?

So the County is canceling the appointments for the Kaiser members.

Fuck me.

The County sends me an e-mail explaining why they are canceling my appointment.  They say Kaiser will send me an e-mail within 48 hours to set up a priority appointment.

The next day I get the most insincere e-mail from Kaiser saying how they were just notified about my County appointment being canceled and they are so surprised and don’t understand why the County would do such a thing. 

Yeah, right. 

Kaiser says it’ll get back to me with an appointment link.

Tick tock. Tick tock. TICK FUCKING TOCK.

NOTHING.

I am starting to seriously stress.

I have to reenter the world of booking a COVID vaccine – not just a COVID vaccine but a 2nd dose that has to be Pfizer (no they are not interchangeable – I looked it up).  I have to get that second shot no later than 48 days after my first shot, or I get to start over (I also looked that up). 

And now, you have to go through the State’s “my turn” website to find a vaccine – only all they do is take your info and promise to contact you when (and if) they find a possible appointment.  Oh, and I can’t tell them that I’m looking for a second dose and it has to be Pfizer and it has to be within 48 days of February 24, 2021 (when I got my first shot). 

I have yet to hear anything from “my turn”.

I do find the California Department of Health’s web page that includes Federal Retail Pharmacy Program – Vaccine Appointments (https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/FedRetailPharmProgVacAppt.aspx#) , where you can try to score an appointment with places like CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, etc. 

None of these retailers (within 50 miles of me) had appointments, and they all have different rules.  For example, Safeway is only doing teachers and childcare workers.  Some are only doing first doses, some are only offering Johnson & Johnson (the one and done vaccine).

Kaiser does not want you asking your primary physician for a vaccine appointment.  Kaiser’s regular appointments are only for first dose shots. 

AND I STILL HAVE NOT RECEIVED THE PROMISED E-MAIL FROM KAISER WITH A SECOND DOSE APPOINTMENT LINK.

I am not sleeping well, and I am staying up very late trying to find an appointment for my second shot, to no avail. I am not a joy to be around.

On one of my many visits to the Kaiser website, I stumble upon a notification where it talks about the County canceling appointments (in the same bullshit terms), but it also says that every Kaiser-member whose appointment was canceled has ALREADY been sent an e-mail with an appointment link.  They suggest if you haven’t gotten that e-mail you need to check your Spam folder and if it’s not there, you should call the phone number on the back of your Kaiser card.

Fuck me.

I go get my Kaiser card.  I call the number.  After many choices and confirmations, I finally get through to a human.  I explain the situation and she says I need to call the regular advice nurse # and they can set up the appointment for me. 

WT double F? 

It’s like fucking Glinda telling Dorothy, you had the power to go home the whole time.  Yeah, I had the power, but you couldn’t drop a hint you sparkly floaty bubble-bitch, huh?  ARGHHHHHHHHHH.

And then, to rub salt into that very open wound.  I look in my Spam folder, and ….. there’s the fucking e-mail with the link.

WHY IS THIS IN MY SPAM FOLDER?

I get e-mails from Kaiser ALL the time.  During this whole thing I got e-mails from Kaiser, none of which ended up in my Spam folder.  This is, I assure you, the very first time an e-mail from Kaiser has ended up in my Spam folder.  It is also the only e-mail from Kaiser that didn’t also include a link to the same message in my Kaiser account messages (which I had been going to often, just in case, over these days). 

I am furious.  I just don’t know if I’m furious with myself, Kaiser, Yahoo Mail, or some combination thereof. 

Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.

I use the appointment link.

Not only do I get an appointment – for my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine – I get it for 20 minutes from right then.  I grab my purse, my Kaiser card, a mask, and out the door I go.  There is no wait to check-in, there is maybe a minute or so wait for someone to be available to give me the injection, and I have to wait 15 minutes.

AND I AM DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THIS FAT OLD LADY IS FULLY VACCINATED.

I know it will be 2 weeks before I am fully, fully vaccinated, but I cannot tell you what a relief it is to have this all behind me. 

I hope you all get vaccinated when you get the chance, and I hope for you it is a simple, boring, no-adventures process. 

One thought on “THIS FAT OLD LADY’S WTF WEDNESDAY – CAUGHT IN THE SANTA CLARA COUNTY VS KAISER VACCINATION WARS

  1. I feel you. I’m in Alameda County, close to Santa Clara County, and am also a Kaiser member. I’m in my 50’s but I’m fat, with a BMI above their guidelines, so I am supposedly eligible to get the vaccine right now. But Kaiser has not contacted me to tell me I can get an appointment. I too have looked at the My Turn website and have signed up, but I’ve heard nothing from them either. I don’t know what to do, because you’re right, Kaiser does NOT want its members to contact their doctors about this. Sigh.

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