Ohioans checking for COVID-19 vaccine appointments through Kroger are still being referred to clinics in Kentucky despite repeated warnings from the state that vendors should not vaccinate Ohioans crossing state lines for a shot.
“I did it again this morning to see if it happened and it still happens,” said Shannon Warmoth, who first tried to plan his shot on March 11th.
Warmoth lives in southwest Ohio, but the Kroger vaccine portal, which hundreds of thousands of Ohioans will use to schedule their admissions, directed him to clinics in Bellevue and Covington when he submitted his information that day.
“I called Kroger and just wanted to make sure it was okay,” he said. “The lady on the other end told me it was not okay. They thought they fixed this bug. “
They didn’t do it. In a statement, a Kroger spokesperson said it was the responsibility of patients to schedule appointments in their own state, and not the responsibility of the company to only refer them to valid clinics.
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“We will continue to remind people to plan their vaccines in their state of residence, as directed by our lawmakers,” the spokesman wrote.
Warmoth eventually found his dose at the mass vaccination clinic at Xavier University’s Cintas Center. He’ll be back in April for his second shot.
However, other patients in the same clinic had a new planning problem: they were not told when their second appointment would be. They have an approximate date range (April 8-10) but have not been given precise information on when they should appear.
“My husband was never told that his second appointment was scheduled, nor did he have the opportunity to make his second appointment online,” WCPO viewer Tracie Thornberry wrote in an email.
A Kroger spokesman said the company would soon be reaching out to patients with no confirmed appointments for the second dose.
Warmoth, who was having trouble making his first appointment, said he isn’t upset about his experience but wants other vaccine seekers to be prepared.
All Ohioans over 16 will be eligible for the shot on March 29th. The state’s online vaccination schedule planning tool, Get the Shot, can help hopeful patients find available appointments in their area in Ohio.