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UMC administers 2,000 of the 5,000 vaccines it received in just 2 days at mega-site

UMC vaccination site
Tents set up at UMC to house the hospital's mega-vaccination site .

EL PASO, Texas -- Since being chosen as a vaccine mega-site by the state late last week, University Medical Center received 5,000 vaccines and nearly 2,000 had been administered by Tuesday.

UMC began administering the vaccines on Monday, and although UMC spokesperson Ryan Mielke said the effort has been successful, a 78-year-old El Pasoan emailed but ABC-7 to say she had to wait in line for three hours in the cold to get a shot.

"I don't think it's successful when you have possibly 1,000 or more people standing in line for three hours waiting for it," said Marleen Brown. "That's not right. It's just very unfair to do."

After Monday, Mielke said they added a new line for the elderly to expedite the vaccination process.

Another problem, according to Mielke, is that people show up early to their vaccination appointments.

"Some people show up very early just because they think they need to show up early and it's typical for folks to do that and that's okay, but the idea is to get them to show up around the time they are expected to get their vaccine and that way the wait time is minimized," he explained.

Another man who received his vaccine Tuesday said he had a great experience. Mathew Castor told ABC-7 he got a call from UMC and was told to be there in 30 minutes to get his shot.

He said he was in and out in short order.

"It was pretty short notice, but you know what it was worth it," said Castor. "As soon as we got the call, we were pretty eager to come down here and I think that's what the excitement part was, to know that we were going to be able to get the chance to get the vaccine today."

On Tuesday, more than 1,000 vaccines were administered: 834 people received their first dose and 220 received their second, according to Mielke.

UMC is working on the final details to begin administering their vaccines at the El Paso County Coliseum. Mielke told ABC-7 that will happen when they receive another large shipment and it will be drive-thru.

Appointments for the existing 5,000 vaccines received by UMC are all filled. As more shipments come through, UMC said it would begin taking new appointments.

Coronavirus / El Paso / News / Top Stories / Video

Shelby Montgomery

Las Cruces native Shelby Montgomery is an ABC-7 reporter who also co-anchors Good Morning El Paso weekends.


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