Major issues were reported at one of Collin County's biggest vaccination centers in Plano after hundreds of people who had vaccine appointments waited in line for hours outside John Clark Stadium Thursday only to be turned away.
"I arrived at the stated time only to be in a car line that lasted for two hours," NBC 5 viewer Dianne Anderson said via email. "That would have been OK with me, except when I got to the entrance it had been blocked off. I was told they were closed for the day."
Kevin Hsieh had an almost identical experience. He got the call from Collin County, got in line on time, and never received a shot. Immediately, he started to worry about what would happen next.
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"We were just kind of being turned away without given any explanation of exactly what happened," said Hsieh. "In the back of my mind, I’m like ‘am I even still on the waitlist? Do I need to start this process again?' Things like that."
Bill Burnett reported a "night and day difference" between the McKinney and Plano vaccination sites. Burnett got the vaccine Thursday without issue at McKinney Stadium, but said his wife "spent two and a half hours in line on the streets around the stadium before being turned away and told to try again tomorrow."
The Collin County Health Department said earlier in the week it saw large numbers of no-shows on our daily appointment schedules.
The health department estimated 30% of people with appointments wouldn't show up, and to compensate the county over-scheduled in hopes of administering as many shots as possible, but that left some people who had appointments without the vaccine.
"My wife and I just waited in line for about three hours along with probably hundreds of other residents only to be turned away just before getting to the entrance," NBC 5 viewer Matthew Ayres said via email.
Both Anderson and Shay said they received a follow-up from the county offering to reschedule their appointments for Monday. Anderson has already made an appointment elsewhere. Hsieh said he’ll give Clark Stadium another try, but he's cautiously optimistic this time around.
"I will go and I’m going to keep my fingers crossed because this time I’m actually assigned to the first slot," he said.
County officials apologized for the miscalculation.
"We’re in the process (right now) of contacting folks, apologizing to them and re-scheduling their appointments as fast as we can," a spokesperson said via email. "We’re also scaling back how many we estimate we can serve in a timely manner each day. We don’t want long lines, and we’re trying to balance these issues."
Want to Get on a Vaccine Waitlist?
As the state begins to distribute the COVID-19 vaccines for those in Phase 1A and 1B, county health departments have begun waitlists for those wish to be inoculated.
You can now register to recieve the vaccination in Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties. Links are below:
You do not need to be a resident of the county to register for a COVID-19 vaccine in that county -- registration is open to anyone in Texas. For those without internet access, Tarrant County is also taking registrations by phone at 817-248-6299. In Dallas County, call the DCHHS vaccine hotline at 1-855-IMMUNE9 (1-855-466-8639). In Denton County, call 940-349-2585.
For a more detailed breakdown of who is included in each priority group in Texas, see this page from the Texas DSHS.