By ELLEN WALTON
In regard to the photos of the vaccine line cue on Canyon Road February 10, I was there and took similar photos. My mother was entering the building just after 1:30 p.m. with her caregiver and witnessed someone in the line near the entrance to the gym parking lot pass out. An ambulance had to be called to the scene. The 1B group are made up of elderly and mostly unwell people who should not be standing on the pavement in a long line.
The people running the clinic were kind and caring; they were just not prepared to handle the number of people registered. Griffith Gym is an awkward place to enter and exit with vehicles. No information had been sent to registrants ahead on where to park and how to get assistance to get into the building, and not one official was stationed anywhere on Canyon Road to give guidance. Safety officers were only stationed at the gym parking lot entrance, and there were no signs to guide people to handicap parking. Some in the line on Canyon Road really needed assistance, but no one was in sight to give it. There were 4 vaccine stations for shots inside the gym, so the line moved, but slowly. Both the Los Alamos and the White Rock Senior Center clinics on January 30 and 31 were drive through clinics that ran very smoothly, leaving no one to stand out in the cold.
Some vaccine appointments are being confirmed with “special instructions” and a phone number for those who need assistance to call ahead for arrangements. Today’s clinic appointments, as far as we can tell, did not come with any of that information included. Patience is running out now that we are now a few weeks into the vaccination process. The swimming pool, the splashpad and the Marriott can wait. Our County Council needs to get on top of this vaccination process and use what works to get it right every time. Getting and giving the vaccine is a brave, life-saving thing to do. No one involved should face the discouragement of unmanned lines such as we saw today. We have the financial and physical resources and many ready volunteers; there are no excuses.