STOCKTON (CBS13) — The opening of a new mass vaccination clinic at the Stockton Arena was a dose of good news for San Joaquin County, which has struggled to get the COVID-19 vaccine to people who need it.
Hundreds lined up early on Wednesday.READ MORE: Placer County Expands Vaccine Eligibility To 16 And Older As Thousands Of Appointments Remain Open
Roem Muhummad was one of the first there with his 78-year-old father.
“It took less than 15 minutes to get everything, all said and done,” Muhammad said. “And then another 15 to make sure I don’t fall out.”
Muhummad was pleased to learn he was getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine – which is one and done.
“That way I don’t have to worry about when I’m going to come back [or] where I’m going to go,” Muhammad said.
The clinic was booked almost immediately with more than 1,500 appointments.READ MORE: 'Positivity, Acceptance And Love': Lodi Announces Location Of City's First-Ever Pride Festival
“We have enough to run operations to next week,” said Dr. Issa Fakhouri with Kaiser Permanente. “And on a weekly basis, we will know how much we will getting and how much our appointments will be opening.”
Organizers say the site, which was originally supposed to open back on March 30 but was delayed by vaccine supply issues, can administer more than 5,000 doses a day.
It couldn’t happen fast enough in San Joaquin County, which has lagged behind other nearby counties in people being vaccinated.
Health officials say misinformation, fear and a lack of health insurance are issues that have been keeping people from getting vaccinated. But officials hope a free dose, free parking and the arena’s location close to public transportation can change that.
“So just do it – it’s like Nike!” said Muhummad.MORE NEWS: Camp 2 Home Program In Modesto Helps Homeless Get Back On Their Feet
Kaiser Permanente patients and non-patients can sign up through MyTurn website or call the California COVID-19 Hotline at 1 (833) 422-4255 for help.