Palm Springs resident Norma Aleman wasn’t eligible for the coronavirus vaccine until the city of Palm Springs informed the valley of a developing situation.
A post on their website shared the Palm Springs Convention Center had an excess amount of doses, and anyone 16 or older who lives or works in the county could get a shot with no appointment required.
“I’m really, really grateful because a lot of people my age group haven’t been vaccinated,” Aleman said after receiving her shot.
Hundreds rushed to the convention center throughout the day, and other young residents shared her excitement.
“I feel great, I‘m glad that I got the shot,” said Aaron Flores from Palm Desert.
However, the county says the situation is temporary.
According to officials, the site needed to use those doses before they expired.
But, as Riverside County’s new Health Officer Dr. Geoffrey Leung reports, state guidelines do change this week.
“Starting April 1st everyone 50 years of age and older is eligible for the vaccine. Starting April 15th, everyone 16 years of age and older will be eligible,” said Dr. Leung.
While the county’s vaccine supply currently outweighs demand, staff says they will be sticking to the state’s age groups, and don’t believe additional changes are necessary.
“50 and above is a big difference. There’s a big gap between 50 and 65, so we think there’s a good portion that’s out there in the population that are going to want to come and get vaccinated,” said Jose Arballo Jr., a senior information specialist for the Riverside University Health System.
But, Arballo does encourage everyone who is eligible to sign up, because state officials could change the amount of doses they provide if numbers fluctuate.
“We don’t want to get into a situation where we’re not using it, or we’re keeping it too long, and then the state might consider maybe reducing it,” said Arballo Jr.
Those already vaccinated share the same message, saying the process is easy.
“I was only in there for 15 minutes. It was really fast,” said Flores.