Early Birds And Line Skippers: Mass Vax Event In Eugene Had Some Problems

Feb 16, 2021

Over the weekend, Lane County Public Health had its most challenging COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic to date. Officials say about 15% of the people who showed up didn’t have an appointment.

Mass vax events in Lane County are drive-up affairs. Last weekend, some people tried to skip the line by parking and leaving their vehicles to approach the vaccine tents on foot.
Credit Tiffany Eckert

Some mistook their pre-registration email confirmation for an invitation to get vaccinated. It isn’t. Spokesperson Jason Davis said some folks worried they wouldn’t get a shot if they didn’t come early.

“These clinics are not first come first serve,” he said. “That’s why we do the vaccine scheduling. Please, please do not show up early.”

The early birds were simply in the way, said Davis, and that caused delays for everyone. Some tried to “skip the line” by leaving their vehicle and walking up to the clinic. Vaccinators discourage this and say it won’t get you inoculated any quicker.

Public Health anticipates a significant uptick in the number of people being vaccinated. Starting next week, the county will receive 6,400 doses each week for at least a month. Davis said the allocation is based on the senior population and the county’s demonstrated capacity to get shots in people’s arms.