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Cape's First Phase 2 Clinic Opened Under the Radar; Slots Filled in an Hour

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BarnstableCountyHealth.org
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On Wednesday, the same day Barnstable County announced the public could not sign up for Phase 2 COVID-19 vaccinations due to inadequate supply, the county posted 600 appointments online.

They filled up within an hour. The clinic was never publicly announced.

County health director Sean O’Brien said he takes responsibility. He called the posting a “glitch” but also said he wanted to have at least one clinic listed online.

“Honestly, it was a glitch on my part,” he said. “So we wanted to make sure that we got something out there, in order to kind of meet the governor as well, at least having one of those sites. So I take responsibility for that.”

What’s more, as of Thursday afternoon, the clinic wasn’t on the state map of vaccination clinics on Mass.gov. It appeared only on the state’s separate portal, maimmunizations.org.

Asked if people with inside knowledge received the appointments, O’Brien said he wanted to assure the public that no one is getting special treatment. He said people looking for vaccines are monitoring that site continually.

Anyone in Massachusetts, whether or not they live on Cape Cod, could have signed up for the slots.

O’Brien said his staff will cancel non-resident appointments and notify those individuals by email. He said he hadn’t taken a count of how many people that would affect.

Some of the clinics posted at maimmunizations.org have geographic restrictions, but the Cape clinic, which is scheduled for the fairgrounds in Falmouth next Wednesday, listed no such restrictions.

The town of Falmouth said it anticipates another clinic will be scheduled for the same location the following week.