Civic Center Clinic

A sign directs Lubbock residents to the vaccine clinic at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center on Feb. 2, 2021. The city has ramped up its COVID-19 vaccination clinics since it began late last year.

"I'd recommend it. It's the best safety for the future," Buddy Payne said.

It was another busy day at the Civic Center where thousands received a shot in the arm.

Juan Mendoza was one of 1,600 to receive his first dose.

In the Fall, he was hospitalized with the virus at UMC.

His wife Gloria says they are thankful to see this day.

"Today feel like special with God, you know. To take the shot," she said.

But before he got his appointment, it took several tries.

"3 times. 3 different weeks. You call Monday and they're already booked," Mendoza explained. "That was kind of frustrating but I'm glad I'm in and out now."

"He got so excited when he got the appointment. I said, 'thank you Jesus' he's been waiting 3 weeks for this day," Gloria Mendoza said.

The Mendozas were not the only ones struggling to snatch a spot at first.

For these vaccine recipients, persistence was key.

"This is the third time calling in trying to get through. Everytime we'd get through [the city would tell us] 'they're full,'"Danny Everette said. "This time I had 2 phones, going back and forth, until I got through."

"Being an old man I was thinkin' 'hey, I should get in' but I got in, so I'm cool about it," Buddy Payne said.

Since late December, the city has given more than 20,000 first doses and fully vaccinated 2,000.

"I think it's a step in the right direction. So, I'm hoping it will work and maybe this thing can get beat back," Payne said.

Additional clinics at the Civic Center are scheduled throughout the week, although the appointments left are not for initial vaccines, only second doses.