Organizers of a anime swap meet said Tuesday that they had no role in the closure of a COVID-19 vaccination site in California after facing backlash from those waiting to receive their shots.
SacAnime, a Japanese anime convention group, organized an “anime swap meet” at the Robbelen Center in Roseville, Placer County, on Thursday and Friday, according to the organizer’s website. A local vaccination site, which shares the same venue, was scheduled to be closed during the days the anime convention will occur, The Sacramento Bee reported.
News of the closure drew criticism from locals and those in line to receive the vaccine at the venue. (RELATED: ‘Where Are The Defenders Of … The American Way?’: Tucker Carlson Criticizes Vaccine Passports As ‘Orwellian’)
In a Tuesday statement, SacAnime responded to these criticisms saying that they had offered to allow the Placer County Health Department to continue vaccination at the venue during the time of the event.
The department, however, told the swap meet organizers that knowing of the closure ahead of time, they had scheduled extended hours at the vaccination site between Monday and Wednesday instead, according to SacAnime.
The clinic already expanded all the vaccine appointments before hand and saw no need to extend their dates at this time. As always we work closely with county health officials covering all guidelines, and scheduled the dates far ahead of time.— SacAnime (@SacAnime) March 30, 2021
“We are aware of the concerns regarding the placer county fairgrounds vaccinations clinic closing during our event. 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 organizer SacAnime said in a tweet.
“The clinic already expanded all the vaccine appointments before hand and saw no need to extend their dates at this time. As always we work closely with county health officials covering all guidelines, and scheduled the dates far ahead of time.”
SacAnime has been planning for and publicly announcing the swap meet since Oct. 2020, the organizer said.
The county’s spokeswoman Katie Combs-Prichard confirmed to The Sacramento Bee that knowing that the clinic would be closed due to “pre-existing events” at the venue, the clinic extended its hours from Monday to Wednesday.
During the extended hours, the clinic will compensate for the closure and “maximize the volume” of administered doses, Combs-Prichard said.