BETHEL PARK, Pa. (KDKA) — A local pharmacy chain held a COVID-19 vaccine clinic on Saturday, vaccinating 2,000 people at the Bethel Park Community Center.

For 10 hours, a constant stream of people showed up to Spartan Pharmacy’s clinic to receive the first of two shots. As COVID-19 vaccines remain hard to come by, it was a major relief for those who booked an appointment.

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“It feels amazing,” said Jaimie Rennie of South Park. “I tried about 10 places and then when I found out about this clinic, I signed up.”

Spartan Pharmacy has two locations in Pittsburgh and one in Bethel Park. Appointments opened on its website Friday night for those in Phase 1A of Pennsylvania’s vaccine rollout plan.

Pharmacy manager Jodi Mitchell says tens of thousands of people tried to grab one of the 2,000 spots. The response overwhelmed the website quickly.

“We filled up all the spots,” she said. “I think it only took like 20 to 30 minutes. I do know it’s hard to get on the website. We have just tens of thousands of people trying to access the website at once.”

Nancy Sawyer of Whitehall was one of the people to get an appointment but not for herself.

“My concern was my aunt, who is 84. And I could just cry,” she said leaving the clinic after her aunt’s appointment.

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Vaccine distribution has been strenuous on local pharmacies, their websites and their phone lines. Clinics have become key in helping them use their full vaccine supply and keep daily workflow on track.

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“We’re just happy to help,” Mitchell said. “We’re happy to be able to do as much as we can, as fast as we can.”

Backed by dozens of volunteers and overwhelming donations of food from the public, the clinic got high marks as people headed home.

“It’s a well-oiled machine,” Sawyer said. “I don’t know who organized it, but whoever else is going to conduct these clinics should take a moment and talk to these folks.”

Mitchell says Spartan Pharmacy will continue to host clinics as more supply comes in. Registration for their clinics is done exclusively online. The pharmacy is not accepting phone calls about vaccine registration.

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