More weekend spots available after nearly 2,400 get vaccine on first day of Bank of America Stadium mass vaccination event

Updated: Jan. 29, 2021 at 11:48 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Thousands of people traveled to the Bank of America Stadium Friday to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Even more people will get a chance to as Atrium Health has opened up additional weekend spots at the stadium.

This was day one of the three-day mass vaccination event geared towards people 65 and older.

Torsten Pilz from Honeywell says they had 2,400 people scheduled Friday and close to 100% of them showed up for their appointments. Additionally, he said 8,500 appointments are booked on both Saturday and Sunday.

Due to increased efficiency, Atrium Health officials say they have new open spots for this weekend’s mass vaccination at Bank of America Stadium for those who qualify.

People who got their first dose praised the efficiency and were glad to finally get the vaccine.

“Things are getting better, that we’re doing our part to break the cycle,” said Janet and Richard Conboy who travelled from Matthews.

Peggy Colyer drove all the way from Winston Salem. She said getting the vaccine brings her hope and hopefully more freedom.

“My daughter lives here in Charlotte and she’s so anxious for me to get vaccinated so I can start being with family again,” Colyer said.

For some it was about overcoming hesitation and encouraging others to do the same.

“Do your research if that makes your more comfortable and especially African Americans we need to take it. We are the ones that’s dying like flies so I suggest that people of color especially, because I think we die ten to one compared to other races,” said Mary Stokes who received her vaccine.

Studies have shown that Black people are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 due to chronic illnesses and other factors.

Billy Hutton and his wife Tonya travelled from Indian Trail and encouraged people to get the vaccine for their protection.

“There’s a lot of people indicating that they’re afraid to get it because of being a Black American, but everybody should get the vaccine. It’s worth it to get the vaccine to be safe,” Hutton said.

Daniel Smith and 11 other volunteers from the disaster relief organization Team Rubicon were just a portion of the volunteers who played a part in helping patients Friday. Smith says it was a rewarding experience.

“This is something going down in history and I’m glad to be a part of it and help out anyway I can,” Smith said.

For others, they say it was a moment of unity.

“The feelings that you just get here today is that boy, we’re all together with one problem and we’re solving it,” said Richard Conboy.

Appointments continue to be required. Appointments are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. People are encouraged not to arrive more than 15 minutes before their scheduled appointment. All appointments are either walk up or drive thru-style.

For more information about parking and expectations click here.

Go here for vaccination details including how to sign up to get vaccinated:

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