Hundreds of senior citizens were turned away from Henry County’s drive-through vaccination site Tuesday after showing up without an appointment.
“My doctor told me three days ago you didn’t need an appointment,” said Barbara Hodges, who showed up at 6 a.m. at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton hoping to receive a shot.
She left disappointed at about 8:30 a.m.
Same for Ken Winston, a Vietnam veteran who brought his wife.
“I’m extremely upset,” said Winston.
“Everything that I saw said, ‘No appointment necessary,’” said Lisa Williams, who brought her 94-year-old mother to the site in the pre-dawn hours without an appointment.
“I think the DPH has done a poor job with the vaccines,” Williams said in frustration after being turned away.
Meanwhile, those who registered for the event were processed quickly and easily, getting their shots and leaving with a feeling of relief.
“I think the mix-up is that it was on so many social media sites,” said Hampton Mayor Steve Hutchison.
Both Hutchison and a representative from the local Department of Public Health told CBS46 the Atlanta Motor Speedway event initially was supposed to be a first-come-first-served event. But on Friday, the Georgia Department of Public Health pressured the local health department to change it to appointment-only.
Word spread quickly. By Sunday, the health department had filled appointments for all 870 vaccine doses Henry County has received so far. But some senior citizens did not get the memo.
“I urge them to be patient,” said the mayor. “I know this is brand new to everybody. We’re just going to have to go through it and take our time and just follow the guidelines.”
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