HOUSTON – A so-called “glitch” Saturday forced Houston health officials to turn away some people with appointments to get vaccinated at the Minute Maid Park megasite.
Several frustrated people called the KPRC 2 newsroom to report that after they waited in line for a few hours, they were told the coronavirus vaccine supply at the megasite was depleted. A video that was shared with KPRC 2 showed a worker announcing just that, saying that a “glitch in the system where it duplicated appointments.” The worker can be heard telling people to remain in line so that they can reschedule their appointment and that they will be a priority for the next clinic.
“They said they didn’t have enough vaccine so they will reschedule and they will call us,” said Prakass Basndari, who was turned away.
“As soon as they told us to walk, I looked and they were locking the gate,” said Richard Bonilla, who was also turned away.
In a tweet, Houston Health Department officials said they went over their scheduled appoints and had to stop accepting patients because of the volume of people still in line. Officials said staff members are taking the names of people in line who had appointments that will need to be rescheduled.
“We will look into what caused us to go over our scheduled appointments today and ensure it’s corrected,” the tweet read. “We apologize for the inconvenience as we all work together to end this pandemic.”
In a tweet from the City of Houston account, officials said they were “trying to accommodate everyone who showed up.”
Mary Benton, director of communications for Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, said the original goal was to vaccinate 5,000 people. Turner tweeted Saturday night that 6,122 people had gotten the shot during the clinic.
The City’s goal is to get these vaccines in people’s arms as quick as possible and not leave them on the shelf. Today 6122 were vaccinated and that number could have been much higher but for the supply. With a mega-site there are challenges but we are working through them. st
— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) January 17, 2021
People patiently waited in line Saturday at the Juice Box to get their COVID-19 shot.
Ron Cowel said he was thankful he was able to get the vaccine at the ballpark-turned-clinic.
“You don’t have popcorn, hot dogs or beer, and there’s no one starting the wave,” Cowel said. “But you’re getting your vaccine, and I’m very grateful.”
While some said they waited in line for a few hours, Donald Anderson said he was surprised at how fast it moved.
“I said, ‘Look at all these people,’” Anderson said. “I said, ‘It’s going to be a long time,’ but it moved real quick.”
Houston Mayor Sylvester said the goal was to get several hundred people in and out of the megasite every hour.
Other vaccine clinics were held by Houston-area hospital systems Saturday.
Houston Methodist officials said about 4,500 people were vaccinated during their clinic.
‘Glitch’ causes some with appointments to be turned away from Minute Maid Park v…