Mix-up sends GVSU students to get COVID-19 vaccine shots

COVID-19 Vaccine

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Students from Grand Valley State University were mistakenly told Wednesday that they could get a COVID-19 shot.

Spectrum Health had reached out to the university saying it had enough doses available at the DeVos Place clinic in downtown Grand Rapids for staff and students who work in a clinic setting to get shots. GVSU then sent sign-up information to the entire university community and did not make it clear that only some people were eligible.

Several students made appointments and showed up at DeVos Place. A few were given shots before workers realized what was happening. Saying the students did not qualify under current state eligibility requirements, they starting turning them away.

One parent said she drove her child, who has been attending GVSU remotely, across the state to get a shot only to be told to leave.

“Nobody wanted to cut in front of … elders,” the parent said. “Nobody wanted to cut a line of seniors. This is not what it’s about. This is about accountability.”

GVSU sent an email to the campus community Thursday explaining there had been a mistake and apologizing for the frustration it caused.

It also provided News 8 with a statement apologizing for the mistake:

“It was a mistake not to include the appropriate eligibility information in our email. We regret it and have apologized to our campus community. Yesterday’s invitation was sent in good faith. We understand and support the qualifying criteria.”

Grand Valley State University

In its own statement, Spectrum Health commended its clinic workers for spotting that something was off and working to get the problem resolved.

“At Spectrum Health, we understand people are eager to be vaccinated, and we understand the importance of following all State and CDC guidelines in administering vaccine to those who are eligible. We are aware that a miscommunication at Grand Valley State University encouraged some people in the university community who were not currently eligible for vaccine to register for an appointment. Thankfully, team members at the West Michigan Vaccine Clinic recognized the error in a timely fashion and corrected the communication. We will continue to work with our community partners and follow State and CDC guidelines in providing vaccinations. We encourage everyone to continue wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and washing hands frequently.

Spectrum Health

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