Although the Auraria campus distribution site did not receive any vaccine this week, we are continuing to explore a variety of avenues to ensure that vaccine will be forthcoming. Steve Monaco, Director of the Health Center at Auraria, asked that I educate our campus community in this week's COVID-19 update regarding a recent and unfortunate development.
From a CNN online article on February 4, 2021, “Finally, the Covid-19 vaccine is available to millions, including health care workers, chronically ill people and seniors. But with wider availability comes the inevitable spike in vaccine scams. Fraudsters are promising early access to vaccines or even a personal shipment of vaccines -- at a cost, of course. But their offers aren't legit, and those they scam could end up with their personal information exposed and money stolen without ever getting the vaccine.”*
You will not have to pay to receive the Covid-19 vaccine when it's your turn. It is free. If you're asked to pay or provide private information, that's not legit.
If you receive an offer to get your Covid-19 vaccine early for a fee, ignore it. No health department or vaccination site would vaccinate someone ahead of schedule if they paid for it.
Your local health department or vaccination site will not reach out to you and ask for payment to be put on a waiting list. Some vaccination sites have created waiting lists, but you won't be asked to pay for them.
There are “vaccine hunters” who are promising people that they can get them an appointment. You should avoid registering through sites unaffiliated with your health department or pharmacy. It's best to schedule an appointment through your health department or local pharmacy.
Vaccine distributors are not shipping doses of the vaccine to individuals, and you should not administer the vaccine to yourself. You should only receive a vaccine at authorized vaccination sites, which you can find through your state health department or the CDC.
You will not be made to take an antibody test or Covid-19 test before you receive your vaccine, so if you get texts, calls or emails that claim you should buy a test before you go, that's a scam. You do not need to undergo any additional medical tests before or during your vaccine appointment.
Bottom line: If you're sent communication about vaccines that seems fishy, check it out with your local health department. Don't give out personal information such as your bank account information or Social Security number when solicited by someone you don't know -- no health department or vaccination site would require that information to get you vaccinated. And you should only be vaccinated at authorized vaccination sites.
Ruben Zorrilla, MD
Health Center at Auraria, Medical Director
*Adapted from Scottie Andrews, “6 coronavirus vaccine scams that target your money and personal information and what to do about them”, last modified February 4, 2021, 7:47 a.m. ET, https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/04/us/covid-vaccine-scams-2021-trnd/index.html
We continue to await word from state and federal health officials on when the vaccine will be available for our Point of Dispensing (POD) site at the Fifth Street Garage. We remain hopeful that we will have the resources in hand to start vaccinations for priority groups towards the beginning of March. We anticipate that the Auraria POD vaccination process will extend into the fall semester as we follow state priority guidelines for Phase 1 (Winter), Phase 2 (Spring), and Phase 3 (Summer).