NEW YORK (NewsNation Now) — New Yorkers lined the sidewalks and cars jammed the streets near a Brooklyn coronavirus vaccine site Thursday after false rumors spread on social media of extra doses available to the general public.
Messages spread online claimed there were more than 410 doses needed to be distributed within a few hours reported NewsNation affiliate WPIX. It also said that any adult was welcome, whether they had an appointment or not.
The resulting chaos near the Brooklyn Army Terminal brought out police and city workers to tell people that no, it wasn’t true and vaccinations are appointment-only, and for certain populations according to priority.
Mayoral spokesman Bill Neidhardt said on Twitter, “There is NOT available vaccine for people without appointments. This was misinformation and the notification did not come from the NYC gov.”
Social media videos showed a line of people winding around the block and many waiting in cars.
“You may have seen this bogus image. As a result, there is now a line of people outside the Brooklyn Army Terminal who are not going to get vaccinated,” tweeted Councilman Justin Brannan. “I know we’re all desperate to get vaccinated but sharing stuff like this does more harm than good & creates confusion.”
There is high demand for the vaccine, which in New York state is currently available for people 65 and over, health care workers and those in certain key professions like police officers and teachers.
NewsNation affiliate WPIX and The Associated Press contributed to this report.