HOUSTON – Houston Methodist Hospital, the largest vaccine provider in Texas at the moment, is no longer taking COVID-19 vaccine appointments after slots have been filled shortly after launching Monday.
The public vaccine sign-up went live Monday afternoon.
Within hours, appointments were no longer available.
The website included a special note stating the following:
“Thank you for visiting our vaccine hub website. We have had an overwhelming response, and due to the limited vaccine supply, we unfortunately have no more appointments available at the present time.
“We continue to work with city and state officials to identify and vaccinate our most vulnerable members of the community. We will advise the community when we can repost the form for more registrants.
“Thank you for your patience and understanding.”
The hospital said it is prioritizing those 75 and older, and 65 and older with other health issues, as well as healthcare workers.
Roberta Schwartz, the executive vice president running the hospital’s vaccine distribution, said it will administer about 14,000 first doses and between 12-13,000 second doses this week.
“We’re working our way through the public sign-ups, we’re working our way through our patient databases, as well as working our way through the 1A list as we continue to vaccinate healthcare workers,” Schwartz said.
“We are looking at … age,” she said. “Then we go into, kind of targeting zip codes, to make sure we’re reaching all of Houston.”
Patient databases include anyone with any connection to Houston Methodist. Anyone who has visited the emergency room or any employed or private doctors, or who has undergone any test at a Houston Methodist facility.
That database includes more than a half a million people who qualify for the vaccine in the state’s section “1B,” Schwartz said, including “over 120,000 above age 75 and older.”
“Right now for every one vaccine we have, there are about 1,000 clamoring for that vaccine,” she added. “I would ask everyone and beg everyone, please be patient. This is an enormous process. We have hundreds of people dedicated to (it).”