A pharmacist fills a syringe to prepare a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for front-line health care workers at a vaccination site at Torrance Memorial Medical Center on December 19, 2020 in Torrance, California. Patrick T. Fallon / AFP via Getty Images

A Facebook post said there were more than 400 extra vaccine doses available in New York City for walk-in appointments that needed to be used before 7pm.

Swarms of New Yorkers lined up at Brooklyn Grand Army Terminal seeking the vaccine, but officials said there was not enough for people without appointments.

The mayor’s office told Insider that the city has a “variety” of ways to make sure excess doses are used, and added that this vaccine site is open 24 hours a day.

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Related: What it’s like to get the COVID-19 vaccine

Crowds of New Yorkers rushed to a vaccination site in Brooklyn after a Facebook post Thursday afternoon said there were spare COVID-19 shots that needed to be used up quickly.

A post that read, “PLEASE SHARE: We need to give out 410+ doses in the next 4 hours at Brooklyn Army Terminal (by 7pm), taking anyone in community age 18+, walk ins, or earlier than scheduled” was shared and reposted across parents’ groups and other Facebook circles.

But as crowds descended on Brooklyn Army Terminal in cars and on foot, the mayor’s office tweeted that the shots are reserved for people with appointments, and the Facebook post was a “bogus” rumor.

At the same time, however, people in the line, including Insider’s Associate Travel Editor Hannah Freedman who arrived around 5pm, said they were told walk-ins were an option, and were directed into a separate queue for spare shots. That line eventually dispersed as doctors and police walked down saying there were no more shots.

Mixed messages

Approximately 500 people were in line at Brooklyn Army Terminal around 5pm, author and columnist Jessica Valenti wrote in a tweet that has since been deleted.

Another Twitter user, Stephen Lurie, posted a video of people standing in line at Brooklyn Army. He wrote that it looked like more than 400 people were there, and that a security guard was telling people to go home but they were asking for more information and refusing to leave.

Story continues

Bill Neidhardt, press secretary to Mayor Bill de Blasio, moved to shut down the fast-spreading information on Twitter, writing in a tweet that the mayor’s office would be sending someone to clear up the line.

New York City councilman Justin Brannan also tweeted, urging New Yorkers away from Brooklyn Army Terminal.

Brannan told Insider in an email that the claim about extra vaccines was “100% BOGUS.”

The New York City mayor’s office confirmed to Insider that there is no formal waitlist for people who are not in priority groups to get vaccinated ahead of schedule. Vaccination sites work with city officials to reach eligible citizens so no doses are wasted.

The Brooklyn Army Terminal is also a 24/7 vaccination site, so having thawed vaccines left over at the end of the day was not a concern there.

“The city has a variety of ways that doses are used,” a spokesperson for the mayor’s office said, adding that vaccination sites work with city officials to reach eligible citizens, so no doses are wasted.

Right now, the city is vaccinating its healthcare workers, nursing home residents, grocery store workers, first responders, and transit workers, as well as teachers, people living or working in homeless shelters or group homes, and anyone over 65 years old.

To make an appointment, New Yorkers in the priority groups can use the city’s online registration form, or call 877-VAX-4NYC.

Hilary Brueck contributed reporting.

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