An email sent March 14 to people on Beebe Healthcare's vaccine waiting list expanded eligibility to more people.
“Phase 1C individuals 16-64 years old with specific high-risk health conditions are now eligible to receive the vaccine,” Beebe's COVID Vaccine Wait List email read.
The high-risk medical conditions include those who smoke or are obese, and those who have diabetes, COPD, cancer, intellectual disabilities or persistent mental health conditions.
The email stated that if a person meets the 1B category for anyone 65 or older, or the 1C category, they can make an appointment for a first-dose vaccine given by the Beebe Medical Group.
“Due to a very limited supply, appointments will book quickly. Unfortunately, you may try and not be able to schedule today,” the email said. “If you receive the message, 'no available appointments,' the schedule is now booked. Additional appointments will be made available to the wait list when supply is received.”
Due to a high volume, the email states, vaccine appointments and a wait list are managed online.
“We understand that you and a loved one may have registered for the vaccine wait list at the same time and perhaps only one of you received this email to schedule your appointment. This is because we are adhering to the state's guidelines and vaccinating those in the highest-risk group first. We understand this can be frustrating; however, we are doing our best to move through the state's vaccination phases so that everyone who wants to be vaccinated can receive the vaccine,” the email states.
Dr. Bill Chasanov, Beebe Healthcare COVID-19 response medical director and infectious disease physician, said the state asked Beebe Healthcare to start identifying patients ages 16 to 64 who have high-risk medical conditions outlined by the state's allocation plan.
“Beebe has started to communicate with those patients on our vaccine wait list who meet those criteria,” he said. “Beebe continues to work in cooperation with the State of Delaware to provide vaccinations to the community.”
The Delaware Division of Public Health did not respond to a question about whether the state would be offering vaccines to people in the 1C category.
Ryan Marshall, Beebe spokesman, would not confirm if Beebe is vaccinating 1C individuals.
“The state will be making any announcements about the vaccination timeline,”he said.
Go to beebehealthcare.org/covid-19-vaccine for information.