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'Unbelievably smoothly' — first through Cleveland's mass vaccination site praise organization

People giving CLE mass vaccination site a thumbs up after getting their shots.
Posted at 3:58 PM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 18:56:35-04

CLEVELAND — Federal, state and local leaders planned for the mass vaccination site at the Wolstein Center for two weeks. They tried to anticipate possible problems with the process. How well did they do?

Well, keep in mind there were fewer people coming through during Tuesday's "soft launch" than the overall goal of 6,000 per day. But that being said, everyone News 5 talked to said today was a good day.

“The process was real, real simple,” said Julie Crosby from Streetsboro. She got her shot Tuesday and said it was no problem. “I came right in, took the shot, and left right back out.”

COMMON THEME

In fact, that seemed to be a common theme as we spoke to all kinds of people as they came out of the center. “Unbelievably smoothly,” said Jim Gauntner from Shalersville. “I was expecting a long wait. And I walked right through and everything was taken care of.”

“It was very organized. A lot of staff,” said Sahar Jaraki from Cleveland. “I was surprised. A lot of staff to help us.”

“Everyone knew what they were doing,” said Thomas Flannery from Hinckley. “You spent more time waiting after your shot than anything else.”

Plenty of folks gave us the thumbs up as they walked by, even those who had to help loved ones in wheelchairs.

“It’s great. I mean, I just went right through,” said Marie Thorpe from Cleveland. She was pushing her elderly husband in a wheelchair at the time.

STAFF HAS ALREADY LEARNED THINGS

Just yesterday, some people came through the site testing the vaccination system and getting their shots. It was something that those in charge said they’ve already learned from.

“It’s efficiencies that we’re learning,” said Brig. General Rebecca O’Connor, who is the Joint Task Force Magnus Commander. “Where are the places that we’re finding the slowdown? Because when we reach 6,000 (shots), this place is going to be busy,” she said. And that will be the real test as the site ramps up the number of shots through the rest of this week and the beginning of next.

“It may be a little different when you try to get 6,000 through, but for now?” we asked.

“Everything went well,” said Robert Moser from Parma.

Crosby said she’s glad she’s gotten her shot and had a message for you.

“I’m at the age now where I definitely need it. And I just want to tell everyone that they should get vaccinated,” said Crosby. “And just have faith.”

We’ll keep track of the process as the number of shots goes up in the coming days.