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

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There was a long line outside the federally-run COVID-19 vaccine super site 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. However, the site got so much demand, that by 10 a.m. Thursday, officials were forced to halt the walk-up vaccinations and only fulfill those with advanced appointments.

Video Transcript

- Confusion at Cal State LA today. Officials first said there would be a walk-up line for people looking to get a shot, as long as there was enough supply. But now, they're turning those people away. CBS2's Tina Patel is live in East LA with a look at what's changed. Good morning, Tina.

TINA PATEL: Good morning, Leslie. It's all supply and demand. Officials here didn't want any vaccine doses to go to waste. That's why they decided to offer up walk-ups. But now, they say their appointments are filling up, and there's just not enough vaccine doses to go around anymore. Manuel Dominguez was walking out of the gym this morning when he heard he might be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine at Cal State LA today.

MANUEL DOMINGUEZ: They said that there's going to be walk-in appointments, and that there was nobody here. So I looked it up. And I rushed down here. It took me, like, 30 minutes to get here.

TINA PATEL: But after Dominguez waited in line for more than an hour, he was turned away, told he couldn't get a vaccine because he's not in one of the current priority groups.

MANUEL DOMINGUEZ: We were just talking to a couple of the military people right there. They says that we could be here all day and might not get an appointment, or might not get a vaccine.

TINA PATEL: Over the past few days, vaccine supply at this site has exceeded demand. So even though public health officials were reaching out to those who were eligible and encouraging them to sign up and get their shot, they were also telling anyone over the age of 18 that they could walk up and get a shot if there were extra doses. This morning, they said appointments are filling up. So now, they're not expecting there to be any leftovers.

DAVID HOULE: Everybody's very frustrated. It's very frustrating. Just the air. The people are very angry.

TINA PATEL: David Houle says officials told him he could try to schedule an appointment online, but he knows he's not eligible. Still, he's going to hang out and hope that extra shots will become available.

DAVID HOULE: I mean, we drove, like, 40 minutes to get here, and we've waited in line for, like, over an hour now. So at this point, we're going to just keep waiting and see what happens.

TINA PATEL: Dominguez isn't going to bother. He says he'll just wait until people under the age of 50 become eligible next week.

MANUEL DOMINGUEZ: We've been-- all these people that are standing right here, right now, are essentially wasting their time.

TINA PATEL: Now, public health officials tell us there are still appointments available today and through the rest of the week if you're in one of those eligible groups. That's people over the age of 50 with underlying health conditions, or essential workers. They can go to the My Turn website to try and sign up for an appointment, but everyone else is going to have to wait until after April 15th. Leslie, we'll send it back to you.