AUSTIN (KXAN) — The University of Texas says some people have been trying to cut the line to get COVID-19 vaccines.
A spokesperson says right now, they are only vaccinating those in the state’s 1A and 1B phases, but they’ve discovered some who are ineligible are trying to make appointments.
“We have adjusted our technology processes to detect improperly scheduled appointments. Additionally, we have updated the UT Health Austin COVID-19 website with the following info, which is also included in the emails sent to individuals to sign up for appointments:
‘In order to follow State of Texas prioritization guidelines, submitting a completed COVID-19 Vaccination Request Form confirming priority status is required before you are eligible for an appointment. If you have not completed this questionnaire but received or accessed an online opportunity to schedule an appointment, your appointment slot will be canceled. UT Austin has inactivated certain appointment links, because those links were accessed by ineligible individuals.'”The University of Texas at Austin
“In order to graduate I have to get those clinical hours,” said Hannah Lewis a UT senior.
She and Baily Ragan are both nursing students who qualified for the vaccine since they interact with patients.
“Just existing without the vaccine, it was kind of nerve wracking just being in a clinical setting where there were COVID-positive patients that we knew of,” said Ragan, a junior. “Getting the vaccine, I did have peace of mind that I at least had somewhat protection, you know, against contracting the virus.”
UT says they’ve also been trying to address misinformation, like rumors of the university vaccinating people who are not part of 1A or 1B. UT said, “Following standard operating procedure endorsed at the state level, and to ensure that no vaccine is wasted, we and other providers do sometimes vaccinate individuals outside of the current eligibility criteria when we are ensuring remnant vaccine doses or vials are used prior to their expiration.” However, it specified that what it primarily does when there is vaccine left over at the end of the day because of no-shows or cancelations, is contact the next group of 1A and 1B people scheduled to try to move them up. It will then fill those newly-open appointments from the list as well.
She says others have been saying the university recently opened their vaccination request form to the public. Abedin says the form has been available to the public for several weeks.
“I understand wanting to get it,” said Lewis.
She and Ragan hope others will trust the system.
“The vaccine rollout is set up in a way to target the people who are at high risk first,” Ragan said.
UT says it now has more than 100,000 patient registrations for the COVID-19 vaccine and a limited supply. The school is telling people to expect a possible delay of several weeks or even months before getting a notice to schedule an appointment.
The school also urges people to visit its website here for the latest vaccine availability information.