By Rachel Wulff

MODESTO (CBS13) — The state’s last-minute announcement yesterday to open up vaccination to those 65 and older spread quickly across the region.

At a public vaccination site in Stanislaus County on Thursday, the change prompted such a response that authorities had to shut it down almost as soon as it opened.

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As the clinic’s doors opened, there were cheers from those who have lived in fear.

“I don’t care how long I have to stay in line,” said Roman Moniz.

Moniz has stayed inside her house for a year due to issues. During that time, two grandchildren were born. For her the vaccine means freedom.

“Total freedom to get out and see my family in a way I want to. I haven’t held any of the babies. I’ve seen them on Skype,” she said.

Hundreds lined up in the early morning hours outside the Stanislaus County services building in Modesto, including 68-year-old Mike Fultz— a veteran who showed up at 3:45 a.m. to be first in line.

“I have diabetes and several other diseases related to agent orange,” he said.

Fultz said he didn’t want to wait for the VA because he is taking care of his grandchildren.

“And they go to school right now and the school they are going to has an outbreak. So we feel a little bit vulnerable,” Fultz said.

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The announcement came late Wednesday that the public vaccination site would open to Stanislaus County residents 65 and older – before the county says it could even prepare logistically.

By the time the clinic opened, nearly 500 people were in line.

Most who showed up were not even sure how many of the Pfizer and Moderna doses would be available.

“Unfortunately, with the limited number of vaccines coming through, we have had to plan out our rollout because we don’t get the same amount every week,” said Kamlesh Kaur with the Stanislaus County Health Department.

But that didn’t stop people from taking a chance.
Jennifer Glover said

“I didn’t want to wait. I take care of a lymphoma patient,” Jennifer Glover said.

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Officials said they will be able to vaccinate up to 1,000 a day at the health services site – with several other sites opening in Modesto, Turlock, Patterson and Oakdale in the next couple of weeks.

The county says they will have the updated site info on their website as early as Thursday

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Healthcare providers are also being asked to sign up to administer vaccines to aid the rollout.