SAN DIEGO – As the gates close shut at the Petco Park vaccine site, more than a hundred people scramble to get in line in hopes of winning the last-minute vaccine lottery.
“I got in line at 5 and it keeps growing and growing and growing,” said a man named Jorge who works in the catering industry. He said he has tried getting an appointment online but keeps getting shut out.
Once vaccine vials are opened, all the doses have to be used by the end of the day or they go to waste. That’s where the late-forming crowd, wrapping around the block, hopes to get lucky.
“They didn’t have any on Friday,” said another woman who stood in line Monday. “They had 30 on Saturday and last night they had one.”
A staff member at the site stepped out into the street and announced they’d have 20 vaccines available. The doses would be given out by age, oldest first. The last person to get a vaccine at Petco Park Monday was 63 years old.
Meanwhile, at California State University San Marcos, about 60 people were hoping to get the vaccine Monday night after the doors closed at 5:30 p.m.
“I’m rolling the dice,” said Damon Hall, who recently moved to San Diego County.
“We are what I call vaccine chasers,” said Jami Taylor, a teacher in San Marcos. “They got to put those shots in arms, and I thought I’d get in line just in case.”
Site workers first called for people 85 and up, all the way down to 65 and up, before announcing teachers. Both Taylor and Hall both lucked out. In all, about 40 people got vaccines at Cal State San Marcos Monday, including a man as young as 57 years old.