An erroneous tweet caused confusion and long lines Tuesday during the soft launch of a vaccine clinic in Houston’s Third Ward.
According to Vanessa Astros, spokeswoman for St. Luke’s Health, the appointment-only clinic is scheduled to be fully operational by Feb. 15. However, a soft launch was conducted Monday and Tuesday to ensure everything goes smoothly for the full-scale clinic.
Astros said everything went well Monday. She said that someone not affiliated with the clinic sent out a tweet that contained incorrect information and that caused people to start lining up Tuesday.
At least 200 people were in line as of 5 p.m. at Texas Southern University, where the clinic is being held. Some of them said they had been waiting in line for hours.
“I just showed up,” said Laura Wilkins, who admitted she didn’t register for an appointment. “My daughter said, ‘Ma, go down there. They giving the shot, free. You get there and just walk in, get the shot and leave.’ That’s not true.”
By 5:30 p.m., organizers said they had run out of doses and told everyone to go home.
Only people who meet the current state guidelines to receive the vaccine will be eligible to get the shot at the clinic. Registration is required. More information about that process can be found here.
The vaccination effort will concentrate on people described as “super seniors,” meaning 75 and older, other at-risk populations and ethnic minorities who meet the state’s guidelines for the vaccine.
People who qualify to receive the vaccine under the current guidelines can join the St. Luke’s waiting list at stlukeshealth.org. Those who sign up and are qualified to receive the vaccine will be contacted about making an appointment, Astros said.