HOUSTON — FEMA’s new vaccine super site at NRG Park site was already dealing with the problem of people not showing up for their appointments on its first day.
Public health officials say 528 people did not show up Wednesday during its first fully operational day.
Up to 6,000 people are expected to be vaccinated daily over six weeks.
Harris County officials say the problem is not unique to that site, and they’re handling it the same way they do with no-shows at their other six vaccine sites.
In a tweet Wednesday evening, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo wrote, “We are assigning no-show slots to randomly selected 1A/1B teachers who are signed up through our waitlist at readyharris.org.”
Her spokesperson told KHOU 11 News that policy’s been in place for several weeks.
Texas Department of State Health Services’ Phases 1A and 1B include frontline health care workers, residents and staff at long-term care facilities, people 65 and older, and people 16 or older with certain chronic medical conditions.
The teacher the judge retweeted says wrote she now has an appointment on Saturday.
Harris County officials made the NRG site drive-thru only because they believe it’s the only way to safely get 6,000 people a day through the site in the limited time it’s operational.
But what about people with appointments that can’t get a ride?
Judge Hidalgo’s spokesperson told KHOU those people can call Harris County and be offered their appointment at another site closer to them. Those include the county’s four other large sites, two mobile sites, or a federally qualified health center doing vaccinations.
If those don’t work, that spokesperson says the county will work with that person to make sure they get a vaccine.
Public health staff have also been delivering and administering vaccines at assisted living facilities, homeless shelters, and intermediate living facilities.
County leaders say they’ll looking at more options as they expand vaccine delivery.