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Safeway turns away hundreds of people scheduled for a vaccine

Posted at 9:51 PM, Mar 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-09 00:13:42-05

LITTLETON, Colo. — More than 200 people who scheduled an appointment with Safeway to get their COVID-19 vaccine were turned away last weekend.

A spokesperson with the company said they “unintentionally” overbooked appointments at two pop-up clinics leaving people frustrated.

Dave Coddington and his wife were two of the 250 people turned away between Friday and Saturday. Coddington said he arrived early for appointment on March 5 at a Safeway pop-up clinic at Lockheed Martin in Littleton. After about 40 minutes, he said a volunteer told him they ran out of vaccines.

“I was a bit frustrated,” Coddington said. “I just wanted to know what next steps were.”

He said volunteers couldn’t provide him with any information on what steps to take next or if they could reschedule their appointment. Unsure and discouraged, he began to search for another appointment.

“I went back online — there were no appointments available for any other slots anywhere that I could find,” Coddington said.

Coddington is 64-years-old and contracted the virus while traveling for work. His wife was spared, but he worries about her health because she works in retail and faces potential exposure every shift.

A spokesperson for Safeway turned down an interview and provided the following written statement:

“We recognized this mistake on Friday, corrected the error and contacted/apologized to these patients immediately and rescheduled appointments for this week.”

Coddington says he never received a notification. He considers himself savvy online, but Coddinton worries about other people with who were turned away or have been overbooked that have less accessibility to the internet and less flexibility to access a clinic.

“[Safeway], just be wary of over promising because it can lead to frustration and drop-out,” Coddington said.

Denver7 shared Coddington’s information with the Safeway spokesperson and in less than 30 minutes, Coddington received a call to reschedule an appointment for him and his wife.