PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) - Monday's drive-thru vaccine clinic at the Pueblo Mall reached capacity before it even opened.
The clinic, meant for people ages 70 and older, was set to open at 9 a.m. Monday. An advisory from the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment just before 8 a.m. said the clinic had reached its quota based on the number of people in line.
PDPHE and Pueblo Mayor Nick Gradisar scheduled a press conference at 2:30 p.m. to give an update on the distribution status. Watch below:
The department asked that anyone not already in line not attempt to get in line. It also asked that drivers avoid the area because of heavy traffic.
Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk Taylor says they were even forced to turn people away who had gotten in line.
"Quite frankly I didn't do a very good job," said Sheriff Taylor. "We turned a lot of people away today. Specifically a lot of the people out of on the highway, it was terrible. My guys hated to do it, and the city (police) hated to do it as well."
Taylor went on to describe Monday's opening of he new facility as a mad rush, and the Pueblo County Health Department simply didn't have the doses to treat everyone.
"The supply does not meet the demand of Pueblo when the state is getting about 50 thousand vaccines a week," said Pueblo County Health Director Randy Evetts. "Our goal is to get up to one thousand vaccines a day. But it is going to take a little bit of time for that supply chain to catch up."
"We have twenty-three thousand people in this community that are seventy and older. Twenty three thousand. So you do the math," said Sheriff Taylor. "We are going to try to get as fast as we can and as much as we can get from the state. We'll get them vaccinated."
However, in order to receive a vaccine, Puebloans cannot show up to the vaccine facility at the Pueblo Mall, if you do you will be turned away.
Vaccine recipients must be 70 years of age or older and must pre-register. If you wish to register you can do so at PuebloVaxNow.com or by calling the new Pueblo vaccination hotline, (719) 583-4444.
The health department said it will provide updates on any future clinics on its website, www.pueblohealth.org/vaccine. Those clinics are dependent on vaccine shipments it gets.