Houston's Minute Maid Park COVID-19 vaccination clinic appointments filled up in minutes

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As the city of Houston deals with the COVID-19 crisis, one of Houston's sports monuments became a vaccination site on Saturday, and new appointment availabilities filled up in minutes.

All 1,000 new appointments at Minute Maid Park were filled shortly after they were added by the Houston Health Department for people who meet Phase 1A or Phase 1B criteria.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said a new shipment of the Moderna vaccine arrived at the Houston Health Department earlier than expected this week. Due to the delivery, 3,600 vaccinations were administered on Saturday, which is triple the number administered last Saturday at the Bayou City Event Center clinic.

"There's still a great deal of vaccine hesitancy that exists in our city," Turner said. "I want to let people know that it's important for them to take advantage of the vaccine. We've had a lot of conversations about this new variant that's out here, or variants, there could be more than one and so, it is really important now for people to be getting this vaccine, and then for us to get it out as quickly as possible."

WATCH: Houston city leaders outline plan to widen vaccine availability
EMBED More News Videos

The COVID-19 vaccine capacity continues to grow while appointments fill up quickly. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner outlines the Houston Health Department's efforts so far.



The department partnered with the Astros Foundation to operate the landmark as a COVID-19 vaccination site, but it's open only to people who already have their appointments scheduled.

"This couldn't happen without the volunteer efforts," Twila Carter with the Astros Foundation said. "It's just great to be at Minute Maid Park here today to hear the buzz of people, you know. We're ready to get baseball back in action here, and the only way we can do that is getting everybody the vaccines."

The health department's Bayou City Event Center clinic is closed for an unrelated weekend event. Appointments originally scheduled for that facility are being honored at Minute Maid Park.

READ MORE: Track COVID-19 vaccine availability and progress across Houston

EMBED More News Videos

In the video, watch our ABC13 team walk you through using the vaccine tracker within this page.



"The city of Houston is working around the clock to get the COVID-19 vaccine to the public based on available supply. Unfortunately, we are not in control of the vaccine supply and must schedule local vaccines based on vaccine delivery," said Turner.

EMBED More News Videos

ABC13 answered vaccine-related questions on specific Houston-area hospitals, major pharmacies and Phase 1B patients.



He took to Twitter on Friday to clarify that the clinic at Minute Maid Park is not a "vaccine mega site."



The health department is contacting people in its appointment queue to let them know about the new location and will provide instructions on what to do when you arrive. Appointments are filled through the end of January based on the department's current vaccine allotment, and no additional appointments are being made, according to the city.

Appointments are based on vaccine availability, and current appointments may be adjusted based on the department's allotment.

As of Thursday, Jan. 7, the health department received a total of 13,800 doses of vaccines and administered 8,169 doses at locations including the Bayou City Event Center along with the Northside, La Nueva Casa de Amigos, Sharpstown and Sunnyside health centers.

The department also transferred 1,900 doses to other providers. The health department will announce additional vaccination opportunities at its health centers, multi-service centers, community locations and via mobile units as supply increases.

You can also check with your primary care provider and local pharmacy, or the Texas Department of State Health Services' COVID-19 vaccine availability map.



RELATED STORIES:
Coronavirus Houston: Answers to common COVID-19 vaccine questions
Houston vaccine allotments mostly to private providers leaves minority communities searching for doses

Scammers use fake vaccine waiting lists to target victims
Teenagers could be compensated for vaccine trial in Houston

Follow Roxie Bustamante on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.