LORAIN COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - A larger than expected number of people showed up at the fire department in Columbia Station to receive their COVID-19 vaccine Thursday.
Many left empty handed after the number of attendees outstripped the number of doses of the vaccine available. Some waited outside in the cold and traffic was backed up as a crowd descended on the small station on Royalton Road.
“We’re sorry for the people who could not get vaccinated and had expected to be,” said Katie Bevan, program manager at Lorain County Public Health, who was at Columbia Fire Station Thursday during the vaccination event.
The Lorain County Health Department has been using a system where people pre-register online and receive an email notification with a time and date.
“For many weeks those people who receive a notification about a third would actually show up to a clinic,” said Bevan. So the health department increases the number of invitations they sent out to ensure they have enough attendees to use up all the available doses.
And that has worked well for several vaccination events, Bevan said.
But this time a greater share of those invited showed up, and people who received the invitation shared it with loved ones and on social media - who also showed up.
The result was long lines, snarled traffic, and more attendees than vaccine.
A total of 1,054 people received a vaccination at Thursday’s event.
The health department sent an apology email to those who were invited to the event, Bevans said. They plan to invite the people in this cohort who were not able to get the vaccine to another event next week.
It will be held in a different location with more space for socially distanced indoor waiting and more parking, said Bevan.
The health department is looking for medical and non-medical volunteers to help with the vaccination effort. If you’re interested go to LorainCountyHealth.com/mrc.
The health department also asks that if you receive an invitation to a vaccine clinic not to share it.