(LOS ANGELES) — While it’s already been reported that a few celebrities of advanced age have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine, like 73-year-old Arnold Schwarzenegger, 79-year-old Martha Stewart, 78-year-old Harrison Ford, and 75-year-old Steve Martin, Variety reports that many in showbiz who aren’t yet eligible for the vaccine based on age are doing everything in their considerable power to get it.
“It’s like Hunger Games out there,” one Hollywood exec tells the trade.
“Managers, agents, producers and a few film directors have pivoted from their daily business to focus on helping clients and stars find vaccines for family members,” Variety reports, quoting an anonymous source.
“We’ve been offered bribes. We see people taking [private] planes to every location. We’ve seen people try to transiently get into the healthcare profession or on staff at nursing homes, so they qualify for an early vaccine,” said Beverly Hills-based Dr. Robert Huizenga, who has appeared as an expert on The Biggest Loser.
He tells Variety his practice has been offered payoffs in excess of $10,000 from Hollywood types looking for the coveted jab, but they’ve refused.
Dr. Ehsan Ali runs Beverly Hills Concierge Doctor, whose client list reportedly includes the likes of Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber, tells the Los Angeles Times that money is no object for his clients — but vaccine supply is. “This is the first time where I have not been able to get something for my patients,” he tells the paper. “We get hundreds of calls every single day.”
Dr. Jeff Toll, a physician linked to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles recalled to the paper a patient asking him, “‘If I donate $25,000 to Cedars, would that help me get in line?"” the answer, Dr. Toll says, was no.
By Stephen IervolinoCopyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.