ST. LOUIS — Talking at the Friday afternoon briefing, Dr. Alex Garza said pandemic task force hospitals have administered more than 159,000 coronavirus vaccine doses, adding "supply continues to be our biggest challenge. We just simply don't have enough vaccine to meet demand."
But there is another new problem, what he calls "misinformation online" about the availability of walk-in vaccinations.
"It slows up the work for everybody else, so it does cause some issues with our clinics," Garza said of people coming to clinics without appointments. "So please if you have seen this on social media or somebody has forwarded this to you, it's just simply not true."
Garza points to posts online that direct people to area hospitals saying "if you want to get a COVID shot... no appointment needed."
While Garza says vaccinations are by-appointment-only, 5 On Your Side talked to people who disagree with him, reporting friends who were vaccinated even if they didn't have an appointment, nor eligible under the state's current tiered statuses.
In other states, some people are waiting for leftover vaccines at the end of the day, scoring doses that would otherwise go to waste because they have exceeded storage temperature. But that's another tactic Garza discourages against.
"We have some backup lists so that if we know that we are going to be slow, not everybody showing up for the vaccine, and we are going to have some left overdoses, we know that we can call people now that are on our list and they can come and get vaccinated," Garza said.
RELATED: Limited vaccine supply causes Illinois health departments to restrict shots to residents only