Issues with UT Health Austin’s vaccine signups lead to long lines, canceled appointments

Coronavirus

AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Monday, those trying to get a COVID-19 vaccine through UT Health Austin at Gregory Gym faced long lines. Many were turned away from the site, after UT Health says thousands of people who don’t qualify for the vaccine managed to sign up for appointments there.

An excess of people who weren’t actually registered but thought they were lining up increased wait times. Many people told KXAN they stood in line for more than an hour. Some of those, only to get to the front of the line and be turned away.

UT Health Austin says a link for the vaccine appointments got spread around over the weekend, leading people outside of Phases 1A and 1B to sign up.

Thousands thought their appointments were confirmed, however UT Health Austin says appointments for anyone not in the proper groups didn’t actually go through the system.

The organization says it’s working on sending out cancelation notices, however many people not in groups 1A or 1B still showed up Monday, saying they hadn’t gotten a cancelation. According to a spokesperson for UTHA, those people were turned away and not given vaccines.

Avery Dawn and Genesis Maycheck registered and thought they received the correct confirmation.

“I signed both of us up for it, and we got our confirmation notices,” Dawn said. “That had a QR code with our time, and that’s what told us the gymnasium.”

Dawn and Maycheck described the process as confusing.

Almost a month ago, UT Health Austin was having similar problems and told KXAN it had adjusted its technology to help detect improperly scheduled appointments.

On Monday, a spokesperson said the technology clearly wasn’t working as it should, so UTHA is working to get another solution in place by later this week.

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