Vaccine surplus hoax spurs rush to Brooklyn site

New York City residents lined the sidewalks and cars jammed the streets near a Brooklyn coronavirus vaccine site Thursday after false rumors spread online of extra doses available to the general public.

Messages spread that claimed several hundred doses had to be given out by 7 p.m. Thursday evening and that any adult was welcome, whether they had an appointment or not.  That sent people from across the city rushing to Bay Ridge.

The resulting chaos near the Brooklyn Army Terminal brought out the NYPD and city workers to tell people that no, it wasn't true and vaccinations are appointment-only, and for certain populations according to priority.

People FOX 5 News spoke with outside the site mentioned they had gotten the work via text messages, community chat boards, and even Instagram.

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."

There is a 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.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.