Rhode Island’s attorney general asked the state’s two biggest hospital groups to explain their coronavirus vaccine distribution policies in light of reports that some board members, trustees and administrative staff have been receiving inoculations.
“Rhode Islanders need to have confidence that vaccine prioritization is guided by a public health rationale alone and that vaccines are going to those who need them most, and not those who are well-connected or better able to navigate the system,” Attorney General Peter Neronha wrote in a letter Monday to the CEOs of Lifespan and Care New England.
Some people received the vaccine “despite the fact that they do not appear to fall within the Phase 1 category of individuals designated to receive the vaccine by the Rhode Island Department of Health,” he said.
Both organizations have defended their vaccine distribution and promised to cooperate with the inquiry, which is not alleging wrongdoing.
Lifespan “will participate in the attorney general’s office review of our vaccination distribution strategy to health care workers and our efforts to support the recommendations of” the state health department, spokesperson Kathleen Hart said in an email.
“We are happy to explain in detail our methodology, to include our continued and complete transparency regarding how the process of administering, handling and recording aligns with the guidance provided,” Care New England spokesperson Jessica McCarthy said.