Massive turnout forces vaccine clinic in Cabarrus County clinic to close doors early

Cabarrus County clinic closes early due to vaccine demand, long lines formed

CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. — A clinic in Cabarrus County was forced to close its doors early Wednesday after a flood of people showed up to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

The drive-up vaccine clinic at the Cabarrus Arena & Events Center was scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but had to shut down after reaching maximum capacity around noon.

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Chopper 9 Skyzoom flew over North Carolina Highway 49, which is the road leading into the events center. It was backed up for miles with dozens of cars filled with people in line to be vaccinated.

At one point, the road had to be shut down to handle the surge.

One of the people in the line called our newsroom saying he had only moved about 10 car lengths in an hour.

Resident Darrel Helms said he waited in line more than five hours.

“I didn’t think it was gonna take this long,” he said.

The arena’s first drive-up clinic was on Saturday for those in group 1A -- health care workers fighting COVID-19 and long-term care staff and residents. Wednesday’s event was the first that included both group 1a and 1b, which is comprised of adults 75 years or older and frontline essential workers.

The arena’s next clinic is on Sunday, but an appointment is required. Tuesday will be the next clinic open to everyone.


CHA asks that individuals attend the vaccine clinic on a different date:

  • January 10, 2020 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Phase 1A, Phase 1B - Group 1 (appointment only)
  • January 12, 2020 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Phase 1A, Phase 1B - Group 1 (open to public)
  • January 14, 2020 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Phase 1A, Phase 1B - Group 1


Channel 9 learned a vaccine clinic in Iredell also had to close its doors early due to high turnout.

Rowan County held a drive-thru clinic to vaccinate those 75 and older on Wednesday, as well.

Phylis Kesler brought her mom and dad both in their 80s hoping the vaccine will give them a better quality of life.

“We don’t mind waiting that’s just a part of the game,” she said. “I don’t want them to get this COVID. We’ve been keeping them at home hibernated and not get out nowhere and it’s not good for old people to have to stay cooped up and not see others.”

Health officials told us they likely gave out more vaccines Wednesday than they have since the beginning of this process.

Rowan County begins next phase of COVID-19 vaccine distribution