A COVID-19 vaccine center in Pasadena, California, set to take place on Thursday was shuttered after the majority of its time slots were filled with those who work in Hollywood and the media, Variety reported.
According to The Los Angeles Times, California officials confirmed that ineligible workers from Hollywood’s production, media, and streaming companies within the first hour took 900 out of the 1,500 available appointment slots at a clinic aimed at people over age 65 and essential workers such as grocery store employees, who live or work in Pasadena.
“Hundreds signed up within the first hour,” city spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said. “It was like rapid fire.”
An email with a registration link was sent last week from the Pasadena Public Health Department to those who qualified for an appointment at the clinic through the state-wide vaccination website.
The email also told workers they would be required to present proof that they worked in an eligible industry and lived or worked in Pasadena, according to The Los Angeles Times.
“They were not in the current tier. A lot of them worked for the streaming, video and production companies or news, and they didn’t live or work in Pasadena,” Derderian said.
“We do check for ID. We will turn you away if you don’t meet the current tier, if you don’t live in town or work in town,” Derderian stated.
“Our health officer will not risk her credentials or the health department’s licensing or the city’s reputation. We are very strict in adhering to the guidelines.”
City officials decided to close the clinic indefinitely because calling 900 people within a few days to verify their eligibility or ask them not to come was just too much, Derderian said. Residents pointed out that on the registration site, there was a drop-down menu asking what industry the person registering works in: “Service — entertainment, performance.”
Officials also noted that canceling the clinic was particularly difficult news for many senior citizens who had struggled to get appointments, Derderian said.
“Some cried when they learned their appointments had been moved,” Derderian said.
As of Tuesday, no new date has been scheduled for the clinic to reopen.