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Salt Lake County taking walk-in patients for COVID-19 vaccine

(Nurse Travis Langston prepares to administer a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Mountain America Expo Center in Sandy on Thursday, April 22, 2021. Photo: Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SANDY- Salt Lake County leaders are asking everyone to spread the word about Walk-in COVID-19 vaccines.  They have thousands of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at the ready, and you don’t need an appointment to get one. 

Getting a COVID-19 vaccination appointment at the Mountain America Expo Center in Sandy has been harder for some people than for others.  One man who spoke to KSL says he looked for a slot Friday afternoon and was able to get his first dose of the vaccine by Monday morning.

However, there are others who tried to book an appointment several weeks ago when health officials didn’t have the number of vaccines that they do now.  For those people, the process was so frustrating, they essentially gave up, for a while.

One man says, “It was a pain in the butt trying to get that appointment.”

County resident Laura Batchelor says, “My husband and I did try, and we couldn’t get appointments.”

(Photo: Salt Lake County Mayor’s Office)

So, when they heard walk-in slots were available, they jumped at the chance to get vaccinated.  Batchelor’s daughter, Shayla, says she was stunned there wasn’t a huge line wrapping around the expo center.

She says, “I did expect [a big line].  I come from Salt Lake.  I live in the city and I expected it to be more popular.”

The Salt Lake County Health Department was recently given roughly 20,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which is about double what they would have in a normal week.  Lee Cherie Booth with the department says they treated over 100 walk-in patients before noon on the first day.

She says, “If this is going to break down some barriers for people that may have difficulty registering online or trying to find that appointment, that would be wonderful.”

For now, the county is piloting the walk-in appointment system at the expo center, but if things run smoothly, they may expand it.

“Who knows if we’ll extend the hours or if we’ll have it all the time and if we’ll have it at our other sites, as well,” Booth says.

County officials say 60 percent of all residents over the age of 16 have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

 

Other Reading:

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Gov. Cox: It’s time to bring COVID-19 vaccines ‘to the people’