California vaccination site closing temporarily for ‘anime’ event: reports

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Sorry, your coronavirus vaccination will just have to wait a couple of days.

Officials at a vaccination site near Sacramento, California, say they’ll be shutting down the site temporarily this week so they can host a pre-planned event.

Operators of “The Grounds” in Roseville (formerly the Placer County Fairgrounds) said the space had been previously booked for the Spring 2021 Swap Meet of a group called SacAnime, an organization of Japanese animation enthusiasts, according to reports.

Thursday’s and Friday’s interruptions in vaccinations were confirmed by Placer County spokeswoman Katie Combs-Prichard, the Sacramento Bee reported.

County officials extended the hours for vaccinations Monday through Wednesday this week to make up for the schedule conflict, Combs-Prichard told the Bee.

Because the venue is usually closed on weekends, the community will go four straight days without vaccinations at the site until resuming shots next week, the newspaper reported.

The organizers of SacAnime responded on Twitter.

“We are aware of the concerns regarding the placer county fairgrounds vaccinations clinic closing during our event,” the group wrote. “The clinic never had plans to be open during the scheduled time, and declined our offer to restrict our event space so they could remain open.”

The news attracted some snarky comments from social media users.

“I’m so glad an anime convention is being held in the same area they’re administering vaccines,” one user wrote, according to the Bee. “Bonus points for delaying my 2nd dose past the recommended 28 days.”

Thursday is when Californians age 50-to-64 become eligible for vaccinations, according to guidelines announced last week by Gov. Gavin Newsom, the report said.

On April 15, the eligibility age will lower to 16.

The newspaper noted that the anime event will be the type of multi-day, in-person event that many health officials have been advising against as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

But at least one physician defended the plan for the anime event.

“We’re in this phrase now where we don’t want to take absolutely every bit of joy in life away from our community,” Dr. Vanessa Walker, a pulmonary and critical care physician, told KCRA-TV of Sacramento. “WE have to have some semblance of trying to do normal things, but I think we can do normal things in a safe way.”


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