Coalinga completes first COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic in city

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The wait is finally over for 77-year-old Coalinga resident Dennis Hames.

Sunday, he was able to get his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in his hometown.

"We have been waiting some time, so I'm glad to get this done today," he said.

Hames says the shot will also keep his wife safe.

"It's something that will protect my family, especially my wife," he said. "She has had health issues and we've been trying to get this done for her, so today is the day."

This one-day mass vaccination clinic coordinated by Rite Aid is the first of its kind in Coalinga.

All day long, people lined up outside the pharmacy for a chance to get the shot.

City officials say the goal was to vaccinate as many people who were eligible as possible.

"Everybody that wants it should have access to it and that's what we want to do," says Councilman Ray Singleton.

Councilman Adam Adkisson says it's been challenging for many residents to get the shot.

Only two medical facilities in the city have gotten very limited doses of the vaccine.

The other option is driving several miles out of town to another clinic.

"It is nice to have it here because our residents are driving two to two and a half hours to go to Fresno to try and get the vaccine," Adkisson said. "Roundtrip, that is a lot for residents out here in Coalinga."

City officials say they're currently working on bringing more vaccination clinics to Coalinga. They're also working to secure transportation so residents can go to clinics in other cities.
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