Wait times at Dodger Stadium vaccination site reach 5 hours as multiple issues plague distribution

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Friday, January 22, 2021
Wait times improve at Dodger Stadium vaccination site
Wait times improved Thursday afternoon at the Dodger Stadium COVID-19 vaccination site after earlier reports of delays of up to five hours.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Five-hour wait times were reported at Dodger Stadium as eligible Angelenos flock to the nation's largest-capacity vaccine site.

Officials say extensive planning went into ensuring the location runs smoothly and effectively, but distribution issues are plaguing the site.

Multiple people said they waited up to five hours Wednesday to get inoculated. AIR7 HD was above the location as a handful of cars remained in line at 11 p.m. -- three hours after the site officially closed.

However, by Thursday afternoon, wait times had significantly improved.

RELATED: COVID-19 vaccine supply 'extremely limited' in LA County, health officials say

As L.A. County makes coronavirus vaccinations available to residents 65-year-old and older, public health officials say doses are in "extremely limited supply."

The extended wait times prompted people to begin lining up hours before the site opened Thursday morning.

"I don't wanna sit in traffic. This car has a manual transmission," said Joe Damko. "You ever use a clutch and creep along? No way."

For some residents, just getting an appointment has been a challenge. The county website to make appointments, vaccinatelacounty.com, crashed for several hours Tuesday due to high traffic after the county announced people 65 and older can be vaccinated.

RELATED: Schwarzenegger receives COVID vaccine at Dodger Stadium: 'Come with me if you want to live'

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger received his first COVID-19 dose at Dodger Stadium and borrowed a famous line from "The Terminator" to encourage others to get inoculated.

People in the 65 and older age group said they have a sense of relief now that they're eligible to get inoculated.

"I just cannot wait. It just feels like it's been forever that we've been doing this hiding in the houses kind of a thing," said Jeff Hartig. "So I will be happy to get out of that. I can't wait to get back in the air again. There's a whole bunch of pluses that I'm looking forward to. But mostly, I'm anxious to not be contagious to somebody else if I happen to have it."

The county urges seniors to be patient and keep checking for available slots. Officials say they are increasing call center capacity for those without computer access. For those without a computer, appointments can be made by calling (833) 540-0473.

The vaccine is still in short supply. So far, 850,000 doses have been delivered.

Due to an "extremely limited supply" of doses, officials say vaccinating people 65 and older may take until June -- pushing back distribution for non-priority groups. The state epidemiologist says the time table could change, depending on several factors such as allocation, distribution and if a new vaccine is approved.

RELATED: 5 new COVID vaccination super sites open in LA County

Five vaccination super sites were up and running in Los Angeles County on Tuesday. Health care workers and those who live or work at nursing homes were still the only ones who qualify for the shots. Though senior citizens should be able to make appointments for the vaccine later in the week.

Los Angeles County on Tuesday opened five new vaccination super sites, in addition to the one opened at Dodger Stadium last week.

The sites are at the Forum in Inglewood, Cal State Northridge, Magic Mountain, the Los Angeles County Office of Education in Downey and the Fairplex in Pomona.

Helping ease some concerns, the state advised providers Wednesday evening they can resume using a batch of coronavirus vaccine from Moderna after some people fell ill and a halt to injections was recommended.

The decision frees up more than 300,000 doses to counties, cities and hospitals struggling to obtain supplies.

RELATED: California says it's safe to resume Moderna COVID-19 vaccine distribution

The decision frees up more than 300,000 doses to counties, cities and hospitals struggling to obtain supplies.