Walk-ins are now welcome at the mass vaccination site at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds, which is open every Tuesday and Wednesday 10 a.m. to noon on a rolling basis.
Shelby Bodenstab, senior public health nurse for Del Norte County, said they have received an increase in vaccine supply, but demand is lagging behind. She said they are administering an average of 150 shots per day at the fairground site, however, they have the capacity to give out double that amount.
Public Health Authority Dr. Warren Rehwaldt announced last week that vaccinators in the county would be allowed to give the Pfizer vaccine to anyone 16 and older, and individuals 18 and older could receive any of the vaccines, as of April 1. Nevertheless, demand for vaccines has remained fairly flat at the fairgrounds, said Bodenstab.
In an effort to increase ease of access to the shot, the vaccination site at the fairgrounds is now accepting anyone 18 or older, no appointment necessary, said Bodenstab. The site primarily offers the Moderna vaccine, but they are also administering the Johnson and Johnson shot to some at-risk individuals.
“If somebody wants a vaccine, we want there to be not a lot of barriers in the way,” said Bodenstab. “If we have the supply, and we have people that want it, we want them to get it.”
Bodenstab said she thinks demand could be low in-part because people in the community do not know they are eligible for the vaccine.
“People are saying ‘Well, I didn’t think it was my turn yet.’ Everybody is being really deferential and thinking about others,” said Bodenstab. “The reality is now we are at that point, and the supply has really opened up.”
While supply is high, individuals from neighboring communities, especially Curry and Humboldt counties are traveling to Del Norte to get a shot.
“We have a lot of people that work in our community that live in Oregon...they’re really part of our community because there is so much crossover between our communities,” she said.
Bodenstab added the Del Norte and Curry County public health departments have been working side-by-side throughout the pandemic in case tracking, and now, vaccine distribution.
While an appointment is not necessary, it is recommended. To make an appointment visit www.covid19.dnco.org/vaccines