COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Some frontline workers at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center are now wondering when they’ll get their COVID-19 vaccines after some found their appointments suddenly canceled.

OSU Wexner said there was a scheduling error on its part and that the vaccine appointments should have occurred before Jan. 23.

One worker said they were scheduled to get their vaccine today, while another said they were scheduled to get the shot in about a week.

Both said they received automated phone calls saying their appointments were canceled.

A transcript of the phone call is below:

This is a message from the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and the James Cancer Hospital. In order to enhance access to group 1B population to the COVID-19 vaccine, we are announcing today the need to cancel all future appointments for group 1A first dose vaccines beginning at 12 p.m. Wednesday, Jan 27 in order to comply with Ohio Department of Health guidance. 

We are making this change in order to increase access for group 1B patient populations in the coming days. You are receiving this phone call because your appointment is among those that have been canceled. 

We sincerely apologize for this situation and for the abrupt cancelation of your appointment. 

You will be eligible to reschedule a vaccine appointment once either group 1A vaccinations resume or when you become eligible based on your age, personal medical condition, or other criteria from ODH. 

The call, shared by the president of Wexner’s nurses’ union, said starting Wednesday at noon and moving forward, all future Phase 1A first dose appointments are canceled to follow Ohio Department of Health guidance.

“Earlier today, we began contacting affected healthcare personnel to inform them that their vaccination appointment would be cancelled at this time,” OSU Wexner said in a statement. “We have apologized to those staff members affected by this change. Healthcare personnel who do not work with COVID-positive or immune compromised patients will be rescheduled for vaccination in the future when they become eligible based on their age, underlying medical conditions or further guidance from the State.”

ODH said back on Jan. 12 that all hospitals must finish Phase 1A frontline worker vaccinations by Jan. 17.

A letter sent to hospitals from the hospital association on Jan. 15 said hospitals are required to cease vaccinations of Phase 1A healthcare workers by 11:50 p.m. Jan. 17.

A spokesperson for the OSU Wexner Medical Center said she is working on getting more information about the situation and the phone call.

“We are making this change in order to increase access for group 1B patient populations in the coming days,” the phone call said. “You are receiving this phone call because your appointment is among those that have been canceled.” 

ODH said that when there is more vaccine available, it will come out with updated guidance.

OSU Wexner’s full statement, issued Wednesday evening, is below:

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center stopped allowing healthcare personnel in group 1A to schedule new first-dose vaccination appointments on January 17, under guidance from the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Hospital Association. However, some individuals who had scheduled before the cutoff did not have their actual vaccination appointments set until this week – after the state’s January 23 deadline for hospitals to conclude vaccinating healthcare personnel. This was a scheduling error on our part and the vaccine appointments for healthcare personnel should have occurred prior to January 23. We apologize for this mistake.

When we learned of this oversight, we stopped vaccinating healthcare personnel in group 1A who have not yet received their first dose of the vaccine, effective Wednesday, January 27. 

However, we will work to accommodate, consistent with ODH guidelines, vaccinations for eligible frontline healthcare workers who work directly with COVID-positive or immune-compromised patients and who were erroneously scheduled to receive their first dose of the vaccine after the January 23 deadline because of our mistake. In addition, we will vaccinate healthcare personnel in these high-risk clinical areas who were unable to schedule before January 17 and meet one of the exceptions approved by ODH including those who are new hires, had a recent pregnancy or who had a COVID infection or recent monoclonal antibody treatment within 90 days of January 17. 

Earlier today, we began contacting affected healthcare personnel to inform them that their vaccination appointment would be cancelled at this time. We have apologized to those staff members affected by this change. Healthcare personnel who do not work with COVID-positive or immune compromised patients will be rescheduled for vaccination in the future when they become eligible based on their age, underlying medical conditions or further guidance from the State.

The Wexner Medical Center is firmly committed to providing access to the COVID-19 vaccine for group 1B populations. Since beginning 1B vaccinations January 19 through the end of business on January 26, we have vaccinated 3,801 patients over the age of 80, 814 patients between ages 75 and 79, and we have an additional 887 patients over the age of 80 and an additional 2,447 patients between ages 75 and 79 already scheduled for vaccination in the coming days. We will be scheduling vaccination appointments for those patients between age 70-74 effective February 1.

Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center statement on ending 1A vaccinations