Rumors on social media of soon-to-expire COVID-19 vaccines up for grabs at the Brooklyn Army Terminal sparked a frenzy of people rushing to the site in the hopes of scoring a shot Thursday evening — before the city showed up with a dose of reality.
Images and messages shared on Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp purported that the Sunset Park vaccination site had “410+ doses” that were available to “anyone in community age 18+.”
The subsequent rush led City Hall to dispatch workers there to disperse the crowd, a spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
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“There is NOT available vaccine for people without appointments. This was misinformation and the notification did not come from the NYC gov,” press secretary Bill Neidhardt tweeted.
“We are sending people to Brooklyn Army Terminal to ask people in line to return home if they don’t have appointments.”
When multiple people at the site responded that a line had been set up for walk-ins, Neidhart conceded, “Every now and then there are vials with an extra dose or someone doesn’t show up to their appointment so sites are ready to form lines for if that happen.”
Video clips of the scene posted on Twitter around 5:30 p.m. show a long line of people queued up on sidewalks and cops walking amid cars that filled the streets.
Shortly after 6 p.m., The Post found bumper-to-bumper traffic for eight blocks in either direction of the terminal and hundreds of people lining Second Avenue.
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Alexandra Frankel, 27, said she’d been there “since 4:37 p.m… and someone having to do with the site, she came and said it was very reasonable that we were going to get our shots.”
At one point, Frankel said, several cops showed up and “said everyone needs to leave.”
Frankel said she stuck around and a security guard let 10 people, including her, through a gate — only to have the cops push them all out.
“It’s frustrating because I was waiting online for two hours and I don’t even know now if this is legit,” she said.
Brooklyn writer Jessica Valenti also tweeted around 5:10 p.m. that she was “on line with approx 500 ppl lol.”
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“As expected they ran out but was worth a try!” she added about 25 minutes later.
Currently, only those age 65 and older, health care workers, teachers, cops and other frontline workers are eligible to get the shots in New York state.
This story first appeared in the New York Post.