Line outside Cotswold pharmacy highlights demand for vaccine shots

CHARLOTTE — With so many people struggling to get a COVID-19 vaccine shot, people like Joyce Wallace were happy about another opportunity Thursday morning at Randolph Medical Pharmacy in Charlotte’s Cotswold neighborhood.

“I have been trying to get an appointment for over two months,” she told Channel 9.

Wallace lives with lung disease and although she’s eligible to get a shot in Group 4, that doesn’t mean the vaccine has been available for her.

On Thursday, she showed up hours before the first-come, first-served clinic began, in hopes of snagging a spot near the front of the line after seeing a report on Channel 9.

“By you guys announcing this morning on the news, it gave me an opportunity to be able to get my shot today,” Wallace told Channel 9′s Anthony Kustura.

>> Have questions about the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the Carolinas? We have an entire section dedicated to coverage of the outbreak -- CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

The line started to grow inside the building before eventually snaking around outside. Up for grabs were just a 100 Pfizer doses.

Eager to help, Wallace pulled a notebook from her purse and unofficially started signing people in. People like Marilyn White. White, an already vaccinated educator, had looked all over to vaccinate her son and could only find appointments several hours away.

“I have been up at night searching statewide,” she said. “This is going to save me so many resources, time, energy, money.”

That’s partly why the pharmacy used this method: to help in times when demand trumps supply.

“Some people just aren’t able to go online to make appointments, so we wanted to do walk-ups,” said Lauren Ward, with Randolph Medical Pharmacy.

It was enough to lure James Simmons from his home in Union County and put his fear of needles behind him. Simmons said he was unsure when he’d get another chance like Thursday’s.

“I’m trying to stay as healthy as I can,” he told Channel 9. “I don’t go a lot of places, but there’s always a possibility I could contract this COVID thing and I don’t want it.”

The Randolph Medical Pharmacy is planning several more first-come, first-served vaccine clinics within the next month.