Breaking News
More () »

First day of mass vaccinations at Cleveland State University's Wolstein Center goes smoothly as patients express excitement

Newly vaccinated residents react to the process and leaders highlight one concern.

CLEVELAND — Excitement filled the air as hundreds of people walked into Ohio’s first COVID-19 mass vaccination site at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland on Wednesday. 

Denise Helmick says she’s been looking forward to this day for a while.

“Oh my God, I just can’t wait. I can’t wait to be with my grandkids, I mean that’s my motivation, I want to hug my grandkids, I want them to stay the night, and I don’t want to get sick and die,” says Helmick.

Many of the newly vaccinated, including Claudia Gutierrez, tells 3News that Wednesday is lucky, beyond it being St Patrick’s Day.

“Oh you know this is one of my happiest days of this year because I got my first shot,” exclaims Gutierrez.

The state of Ohio is tracking the Wolstein Center’s COVID-19 registration data. Cuyahoga County Executive Armand Budish says even though thousands are signed up, they flagged a concern.

“They’re seeing that people of color, specifically Black and brown people are registering at a much lower rate than white people. That has to change, it comes down to a matter of life and death,” says Budish.

Mary Vearden says she was concerned about the safety of the vaccine, but after her daughter and a grandchild caught and beat COVID, she did her research, felt more comfortable and signed up.

“I think people are still sitting on the fence, but I think it’ll be okay. I think later on you will start seeing more Black people get vaccinated. I really believe that,” says Vearden.

More coverage of the mass vaccination site:

You can watch more from Wednesday's opening in the video below:

Before You Leave, Check This Out