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'Error' Allows Dozens Of Ineligible People To Get COVID Vaccines In Dorchester

DORCHESTER (CBS) - As Bridget Colvin of Roxbury scrolled Twitter Monday, she finished her lunch and thought, "I'm going to just go and see what happens," she told WBZ-TV. "And I was able to get a dose."

Colvin was one of dozens who saw a tweet alerting residents that the Russell Auditorium vaccine clinic on Talbot Street in Dorchester was allowing walk-in appointments all day Monday.

The only requirements? Be over 18 and live in Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan, or Randolph.

According to posts on Twitter, as well as pictures of the line, dozens of people were able to show up to the site and get a first shot despite not being eligible for the vaccine by the state's current requirements.

"I definitely cried at the vaccine place," Colvin told WBZ. "I can't believe it! I can't believe that it's happening."

Colvin told WBZ the line was about 90 minutes long, well-organized, and showed people had a clear enthusiasm for getting vaccinated. "It was really heartening to see so many people in line," she said. "It was 18-plus but there was a huge range of race and age."

Boston Medical Center, which runs the vaccine clinic at Russell Auditorium, called the walk-in line a "mistake."

"Due to an error made in the clinic's pre-registration process, the community vaccination clinic run by Boston Medical Center and local partners at Russell Auditorium began vaccinating community residents 18 and older," a statement from a BMC spokesperson read. "The clinic has ceased vaccinations for that age group, and we are adhering to state guidelines in advance of full eligibility later this month."

Still, people like Bridget Colvin feel grateful to have gotten a dose of the vaccine. "I originally thought we would be lucky if we got it at the end of the summer," she said. "And that was fine. I want to see people who need it get it."

All adults age 16 and over will be eligible for the vaccine in Massachusetts starting April 19.

Visit Mass.Gov/CovidVaccine to find out when you're eligible and to book an appointment.

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