Hospital warns of vaccination scam

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As with almost everything else, scammers have found a way to give people false hope when it comes to vaccinations.

In a press release issued Friday, hospital officials alerted the public about “a blatant scam” that involves telephone calls related to COVID-19. “The bogus message states the call is coming from Martha’s Vineyard Hospital,” according to the release. “The caller says this is your last notice to make your COVID-19 vaccine appointment. To do this, the caller is requesting payment information. We urge you not to engage with the caller. This is a scam.”

According to the press release, the only people receiving vaccinations on the Island at this point are hospital personnel, long-term-care residents, and Island first responders.
“The hospital is not scheduling patient appointments at this time,” the release states. “Please do not provide personal or financial information to the caller.”

Police have been alerted to the scam. Oak Bluffs Lt. Tim Williamson confirmed his department has been notified by the hospital. “We just received a call, and are looking into it,” he wrote in an email. “It sounds like the victims did not supply the caller with any info, and alerted the hospital, who in turn reported it to us.”
Hospital president and CEO Denise Schepici urged the public to be cautious. “This is an outrageous attempt to take advantage of people during the pandemic,” Schepici said in the release. “Please use caution, and please know that the hospital would never deliver a message like this to our Island community.”

9 COMMENTS

  1. Scams like this are usually directed at elderly people who may not read or understand an article like this. If you know of anyone who might be vulnerable to falling victim to something like this, please be pro active and have “the scam talk” with them .

  2. I just got my Pfizer vaccine yesterday in Florida. In mask happy MA I wouldnt have gotten it yet. Why? Perhaps someone could tell me. Keller perhaps?

    • Thank you for asking me personally, Andrew…All I can say is that Massachusetts has vaccinated a higher percentage of their population than Florida.
      https://fortune.com/2021/01/13/covid-vaccine-update-us-states-by-state-coronavirus-vaccine-data-how-many-vaccines/

      Perhaps you got your shot first because you are an affluent white male. I would imagine that Florida is favoring that group of “entitled” citizens. The state of Mass., however cares about the health of all of it’s citizens, and is distributing it’s vaccines in a fair and equitable manner.
      Congratulations– your affluent white privilege has payed off again.
      Too bad some not so wealthy not so white person who may be more in need has to wait.
      Does that answer your question Andrew ?
      If not, let me know, and I will happy to elaborate further.

      • Mr Keller, ”higher percentage” doesnt cut it. Florida has almost 4 times the population of MA. As for white male privilege, the pharmacist phoned me and didnt have a clue about my skin color. This is about ramping up a ”war footing” to vaccinate. My sister who is 80 and has an underlying condition lives in SFO and hasnt had a vaccination and nothing on the horizon. Those states who fear Covid most will also be the slowest to vaccinate. You heard it here. Blue states are bureaucracies and Red states less so. Seriously ask yourself why so slow in MA.

        • Andrew– Higher percentage does cut it. If Wyoming manages to vaccinate 100% of it’s 580 K residents by the end of next month, and Florida manages to vaccinate 581 k people , or about 3 % of their citizens, which state is doing a better job of providing vaccinations for it’s citizens?
          You have been stuck in the mindset of the last 4 years that it is ok to lie about , twist , and just make up alternative facts and statistics, that you do not even know simple mathematical realities any more.
          The fact is that states like Ma are prioritizing people most likely to get and SPREAD it, regardless of the likelihood that that individual will die or not.
          There is a bit of calculous here about slowing the spread, which will have obvious benefits down the road.
          Vaccinate those most likely to get it and we will slow the rate of transmission.
          Vaccinating elderly people in predominantly white affluent zip codes plays well with the political base, but may not be the most effective way of slowing transmission.
          A clear difference of opinion.
          I respect that– But don’t deny the numbers.
          And of course , the numbers change– when I commented yesterday, Ma had a higher per capita rate of vaccinations than Florida did–
          Today Florida is higher– it will go back and forth.

          As for your comment about “you heard it here”, I wouldn’t bet on that if I were you .

    • The reason why you were able to get to the head of the vaccine line is because Florida and Texas did not follow CDC guidelines. CDC recommends that essential workers get vaccinated first, before the elderly living at home (not in residential homes). Some people consider that a moral lapse typical of a state like Florida because retired people are not faced with the daily exposure, sacrifices, and risks that our essential workers face. While I personally would not blame anyone for getting a vaccine as early as they can, I certainly would not brag that I beat out a bus driver or grocery worker when I have the luxury of staying safely at home every day and they do not.

      • Ms Diez, I did not get to the head of the vaccine line. Essential workers did get the vaccine first. Yes Florida and Texas prioritized the elderly who are most vunerable. An essential worker who is 30 years old is less vulnerable than a 76 year old. All the statistics bear this out.

        • You are incorrect, Mr Engelman. Essential workers did not get the vaccine first in Florida’s chaotic rollout. Your governor prioritized the elderly over those who sacrifice for others everyday. There are over a dozen reputable sources that have reported this fact. There is not a single news source that repeats your mistaken statement. As I said, I can’t fault you for going ahead of our everyday heroes, but please do not rearrange the facts.

  3. To be clear, the reason why there is competition, dishonesty, selfishness, and greed over vaccines is because the disgraced Trump administration failed miserably from day one in acknowledging, managing, and leading the country through the crisis of the corona virus. Vaccines were developed at record speed, but again, production and distribution have been a chaotic mess, including in Florida, because there was no national leadership or plan at all. That all changes today. 400,000 Americans have died in this pandemic, yet many, many tens of thousands were avoidable deaths. Make no mistake, although the pandemic was not his fault, Trump’s super spreader events and rallies among the mask-avoiders, and his abject failure to encourage all the safety guidelines that we KNOW work, gives this “unwept, unhonored, and unsung” former President the exact legacy he deserves. And I haven’t even mentioned that he, and his lies about a fair and true election, incited the insurrection at the Capitol to overthrow our government. “Breathes there a man with soul so dead”? Yes, indeed.

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