COVID vaccine clinic closes after running out of doses within hours of opening

Organizers anticipate long lines once again at Rowan County vaccine clinic

STATESVILLE, N.C. — COVID-19 vaccinations continued Monday in Rowan County, but health officials said they ran out of doses within hours of the clinic opening.

The testing was happening at the West End Plaza in Salisbury, where doses were administered on a first come, first serve basis. Patients did not need to make an appointment to be there.

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Channel 9 started seeing cars line up for the clinic around 5 a.m. Monday and within no time at all, there were several hundred cars.

Despite the cones and caution tape to guide traffic, some people who arrived overnight lost their prime spots in line because they didn’t know where to go.

“I don’t think it’s the best way to do things, but I think it is the cheapest way to do things,” Jin Yang, who drove his mother and father to get the vaccine, said.

While his parents received their first dose of the Moderna shot, Yang believes the operation could be better, like using an appointment based system for example.

“It is a difficult task for a health department to handle all this stuff,” Yang said.

The health department said it’s sticking with this method for now because that’s what they’ve practiced. They also have help from sheriff’s deputies, paramedics and school nurses to give the shot.

The clinic was scheduled to run Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., but health officials said they ran out of doses. They initially had just over 200 doses, but they ran out within hours on Monday morning.

Rowan County health officials said they did not anticipate the clinic running for the full five days.

“It creates some logistical issues when there’s large crowds or there’s a high demand for vaccines and then, we’re limited on the vaccine,” Rowan County Public Health Director Nina Oliver said.

Channel 9′s Tina Terry was at a clinic in Statesville last week, and a long line of cars could be seen wrapped around the clinic there. Some people even lined up five hours early, hoping to beat the rush.

The clinic was for those who fall under Phase 1A and 1B of the COVID-19 vaccination plan, mean people over 75 and people who have contact with patients like health care workers and other frontline workers.

Check out details on each county’s plan here:

Mecklenburg County health department vaccinates health care workers at Bojangles Coliseum