UPMC urges people not to come to the clinic without an appointment.By Dr. Maria Simbra

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Seniors who finally got an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine at UPMC Outpatient Center met another challenge — long lines in cold weather.

“That lady already had to go in an ambulance because she was collapsing. It’s too cold to have older people with nothing to warm up,” said Leila Mandel of Pittsburgh.

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This woman held a spot for her husband, who waited in the car until she could get closer to the entrance.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

“For the elderly to wait out in this weather and the mobility issues, it needs to be a little better, UPMC,” says Arlene Schmidt of Cranberry.

In a statement, UPMC urges people not to come to the clinic without an appointment. Community partners identified and invited vulnerable people for vaccination. But people in line do have appointments.

“If you look around at all the people, everybody else had the same appointment,” Schmidt said.

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“Some people have been here for hours and hours,” says Candy Franklin of the North Hills.

The line extends down the block and wraps around the building. Some people brought their own chairs for the long wait. Some people are glad to wait.

“We will stand in line as long as we need to, to protect our mom,” says Carlos Edwards of Dayton, Ohio, whose mother-in-law lives in the South Hills.

“I did a jig last night. I danced to myself after getting this appointment,” said James Perry of Penn Hills. “If you want to stay alive, spend a little time and stand in line.”

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The clinic expects to immunize 2,000 people through Saturday.

Dr. Maria Simbra