State vaccination event closes early in Chesterfield, people turned away

Published: Jan. 26, 2021 at 11:39 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 26, 2021 at 11:40 PM EST
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CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - Some people attempting to get a vaccine in Chesterfield Tuesday were turned away. The state health department is now responding and adding insight on why the event ended up being shut down early.

Interest was so huge, those with and without appointments showed up to the Chesterfield Fairgrounds trying to get the COVID-19 shot. Many of them quickly found out that wasn’t happening.

It was supposed to be a private event for those with appointments to come to get vaccinated for COVID-19 but word quickly spread.

“We heard online that they might be giving out vaccines. We’re both teachers…We might as well try our chances, you know,” said Harper McGrath, who came with a friend.

The two were turned away, along with others, because individuals needed an appointment to get a shot.

“Showing up to a closed vaccination event without an appointment causes delay and confusion and ultimately prevents us from being able to quickly and efficiently get vaccines into the arms in individuals 1a and 1b,” said Brookie Crawford with the Virginia Department of Health.

So much delay and confusion, some people who did have an appointment couldn’t get in.

“I sat and stayed in the line of traffic because I need my vaccine,” one woman said.

She even had a confirmation and even left an hour before her scheduled appointment.

”They will not let me in…I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do at this point,” she said.

There were 750 vaccines available for people at the fairgrounds Tuesday, but not all of them were distributed because the event wrapped up early due to so many people coming unauthorized.

Fortunately, the state is planning more vaccination events in Chesterfield this week.

“We’re asking individuals with appointments not to share your appointment details with others. Your appointment is for one individual only and all others will be turned away,” Crawford added.

She says the county is likely months away from anyone being able to randomly show up for a vaccine.

People in Chesterfield who fall under groups 1a or 1b that would like to be vaccinated can pre-register for the vaccine. Those who pre-register should know that the health district says “the tool DOES NOT RESERVE A VACCINE OR CREATE AN APPOINTMENT, but it does collect contact information, so that when the vaccine is available, VDH can contact you to make an appointment.”

The link to pre-register can be found, HERE.

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