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Frustration grows as people camp out in their vehicles overnight in hopes of getting COVID-19 vaccine

Hundreds of people 65 and older camped out in their vehicles overnight for the first-come, first-serve vaccination.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — St. Johns County has more than 3,000 COVID-19 vaccinations and distributed around 600 of them Saturday. The line to get them started Friday evening and continued for miles around St. Augustine.

"I came at 8 the morning, and they opened at 9, and I got in the line, which is about two miles long here," Neil Lets said. 

86-year-old Neil Lets didn't get the COVID-19 vaccination after waiting in line for three hours Friday, and he says it was worse Saturday.

"This morning I came an hour earlier," Lets said. "I came at 7 rather than 8, and the line is longer."

That line stretched about three-fourths of a mile down Route 1 and extended for a few more miles on the Lewis Speedway.

A couple was 30th in line and got in that line at 11:30 p.m. Friday. They were among hundreds of people who slept in their vehicles overnight.

"I think when they opened it up to 65, that opened the floodgates. I think they could have made that a little higher, and that was made at the top level with the Florida Governor," they said.

The frustration and 10-hour wait resulted in finally receiving the coronavirus shot at the St. Johns County Health Department. 

People 65 years of age and older can get it on a first-come, first-serve basis until Monday, Jan. 4.

"We really believe in the science and need to be vaccinated. We all need to be vaccinated for us to move forward because we are devastated, the country is," the couple said.

"To get the vaccine in this quantity I think is wonderful," Lets said. "I think people are absolutely interested in getting past this thing. I know I am. I'm not afraid of the virus, but I sure don't want to get it."

St. Johns County Government announced Saturday it would take over the program after long lines and what many of the people in line described as a disorganized process.