Cal State LA Briefly Opens Up COVID Vaccines To Anyone Over 18, Then Pulls Back

There were long lines outside the federally-run COVID-19 vaccine supersite at California State University, Los Angeles, Thursday morning, one day after officials announced that they had such an excess of COVID-19 vaccine doses that they would allow anyone age 18 and older to walk up and receive a vaccination.

Video Transcript

- --Crone reports.

KANDISS CRONE: One by one, drivers crept into the entrance at Cal State LA, the heavy traffic visible from above. By Thursday evening, most of these folks waiting had appointments to get a coveted COVID-19 vaccine, including Christian Lugo.

CHRISTIAN LUGO: I'm feeling pretty good right now. I-- you know, I'm not feeling anything. Just a really sore arm.

KANDISS CRONE: It was a much busier scene earlier in the day after state officials told people they might give folks shots who didn't have appointments because numerous slots hadn't been filled. It created quite the frenzy.

CHRISTIAN LUGO: I heard it on the news, and I was actually one of those telling all my friends about it-- like hey, you gotta go over there right now. There's no appointments. And then, a bit later, they retracted on that.

KIRIE VENTURA: I think I was just afraid of it being like Black Friday and everybody fighting for Tickle Me Elmos. But I'm glad it wasn't anything like that whatsoever.

KANDISS CRONE: [? Shawn ?] and [? Dustin ?] [? Hoffin ?] rushed down, even making their appointments as they waited in line.

- We did come with the understanding that we were eligible and not with the understanding that we could somehow get away with not being eligible.

KANDISS CRONE: By late morning, many people were turned away because the demand far exceeded supply, and the appointments filled up. Officials are encouraging people who are eligible to sign up on the My Turn site. The rush comes just days before the state expands vaccine eligibility to everyone 16 and older. People we spoke with said the sense of urgency in getting vaccinated has more to do with others than themselves.

CHRISTIAN LUGO: Peace of mind, mostly for others. I was more particular about, you know, being a carrier of the disease and passing it on to somebody else.

KANDISS CRONE: And Long Beach residents 16 and over are now eligible to get vaccinated. The state is expected to open up vaccinations to folks 16 and over on April 15. At Cal State LA, Kandiss Crone, KCAL 9 News.

- Tonight, two Johnson &--