Erroneous tweet causes confusion during soft launch of Third Ward vaccine clinic

HOUSTON – 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.

About the Author:

Aaron Barker has been a senior digital editor at KPRC 2 since 2016. As a meteorologist, he specializes in stories about the weather. He has covered Hurricane Harvey, the Astros first World Series win, the Santa Fe High School shooting, the ITC fire and Tropical Storm Imelda.