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Vaccine eligibility expands this week to ages 50+, but some are getting early extra doses

California will expand eligibility for coronavirus vaccines to people ages 50 and older, starting Thursday, April 1.

By the end of the week, eligible people will be able to get vaccinated at Eisenhower Health in Rancho Mirage, as the hospital gears up to take its vaccination site public starting Friday, April 2.

Vaccines will be offered five days a week, with the site remaining open two days a week until 6:30 p.m. Appointments are already listed on eisenhowerhealth.org.

In Riverside County, so far, nearly 1 million people have already gotten their vaccines.

"I'm happy to take the vaccine and very excited," said Ninfa Rayray. "I feel free!"

Hundreds rushed Monday to the Palm Springs Convention Center, where people in line wrapped around the building scrambling for 400 extra doses that would expire by the end of the day.

"I ran down here," Cathy Garcin said. "Been waiting for this day for a long time."

"Of course, we don't want them to go to waste," Christy Nicolay said. "Nobody should let them go to waste so it's good that they open it up to people that aren't quite eligible yet."

But also, worry sparked about why there were hundreds of doses about to go bad.

"I would hope the county spreads it around and uses it efficiently," Garcin said. "I'd be concerned, of course."

Last week, Riverside County officials said there was more vaccine supply than demand. But as hundreds of extra doses were used up in a matter of hours, it became clear Monday that plenty of people wanted to get their vaccines and make sure none went to waste.

Stephen Fahlsing was turned away from the Convention Center after the extra appointments had been filled.

"We'd love to walk right in, breeze right through like its the drive-thru at McDonalds," he said. "But unfortunately thats not the way the world works... If we don't get it today, we'll get it some other time."

Meanwhile, hundreds of appointments were available later in the week at Curative locations, including the Convention Center and Indio Fairgrounds.

If you are becoming eligible this week (ages 50+), you can sign up for an appointment now.  

Curative appointments: click here.

Eisenhower Health appointments: click here.

Coronavirus / News Headlines / Top Stories

Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.

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