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Hundreds of Hollywood Workers Cut the Line at COVID Vaccine Site, Forcing Closure



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A COVID-19 vaccination clinic for senior citizens, grocery store employees and other essential workers was shut down Tuesday after hundreds of people who were not eligible for the shots signed up for appointments in Pasadena.

People who did not yet qualify for the vaccine under state guidelines claimed about 900 of the 1,500 slots at a clinic. Many of the appointments were booked by people who worked in the media and in Hollywood, an official said, including at production companies, streaming TV services and news outlets and on the sets of soap operas.

California has limited vaccine access to people 65 and older, as well as essential workers in food and agriculture, education and child care, healthcare and emergency services. No other essential workers are currently eligible.

Some patients said they thought they were eligible because the appointment page included a drop-down menu that asked users to select their industry, including “Service — entertainment, performance.” A warning message in dark red letters, directly above the form, read: “Vaccine supply is limited. Before registering, please check to see if you are eligible to sign up.”

Canceling the clinic was particularly difficult news for senior citizens who had struggled to get appointments, and who have been largely shut off from the world for a year, Pasadena spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said. Some cried when they learned their appointments had been moved, she said.

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