Salem Kroger apologizes after denying pregnant woman Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

Tiffany Del Rio’s appointment was canceled and told the vaccine wasn’t for pregnant women, but Kroger says that was a mistake

SALEM, Va. – A Kroger in our area is apologizing after turning a pregnant woman away from her COVID-19 vaccine. A company spokeswoman said it was an “honest mistake” based on a local misinterpretation of the guidelines.

Tiffany Del Rio and her husband live in northern Virginia and are expecting their second child. Pregnancy is stressful enough, let alone being pregnant during the pandemic.

“So I was really disappointed that after spending hours on my computer navigating the system to find a vaccine that I find out days before that I’m not going to get it,” Del Rio said.

Using Facebook groups dedicated to crowdsourcing vaccine appointments, Del Rio secured a spot in our neck of the woods at Kroger in Salem’s Lakeside Plaza. She received two confirmations and then two days before her scheduled appointment, the pharmacy called to say her appointment was canceled because she’s pregnant.

“The over-seeing physician for this specific Kroger, I don’t know if it was other ones as well, had made the decision that they would not be vaccinating pregnant women with the Pfizer vaccine,” Del Rio said.

Del Rio told 10 News the staff at the Salem Kroger told her the Pfizer vaccine was not recommended for pregnant women, a claim she believes to be false.

While the CDC is still studying the effects of the Pfizer vaccine on pregnant women, the agency does not say pregnant women should not receive it. Pregnancy is an underlying condition and the CDC said those who are pregnant and eligible to receive the vaccine may choose to be vaccinated. Last month Pfizer told NBC News it was enrolling up to 4,000 pregnant women in clinical trials.

“I have many friends who are pregnant who work on the healthcare front line, so know that many of them have actually received the vaccine,” Del Rio said.


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