BREAKING: Some Tufts community members’ insurance information compromised in vaccine clinic data breach

Tufts community members are pictured waiting outside the Medford/Somerville COVID-19 testing center on Nov. 16, 2020 Aaron Apostadero / The Tufts Daily
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Tufts announced in a Thursday evening email to the community that its vaccine clinic provider, Pelmeds, has experienced a data breach involving images of patients’ insurance cards. The number of Tufts community members affected by the breach is still unknown. Tufts has ended its contract with the company and postponed all previously scheduled COVID-19 booster clinics, including one scheduled for tomorrow. The flu shot clinics planned for next Tuesday and Wednesday — which are not part of the Pelmeds partnership — will go forward as planned.

“Pelmeds is working to determine the number of Tufts community members affected,” Vice President and Chief Information Officer Chris Sedore and Michael Jordan, university infection control health director, wrote in the email. “If an image of your insurance card was included in this breach, Pelmeds will notify you, explain the situation, and provide you with any further direction, as necessary.”

Tufts is in the process of finding an alternative provider for future COVID-19 booster clinics. Eligible Tufts community members are required to receive the newest bivalent COVID-19 booster shot by Dec. 2. Students can use vaxfinder.mass.gov to find nearby vaccination appointments. 

“We apologize for this inconvenience and will communicate with you as soon as we are able about the rescheduled clinics,” Jordan and Sedore wrote. 

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