Covid-19 Vaccination

Vaccine Walk-Ins Without Appointments on the Rise

National City Fire Battalion Chief sees the shorter lines as a positive

NBC Universal, Inc.

San Diego County residents are finding more and more opportunities to get their COVID-19 vaccine without making an appointment.

On Friday in National City, several National City Fire Department firefighters administered doses of the Pfizer vaccine to dozens of people who merely waited in line without an appointment outside the National City Library.

“We were very fortunate to get additional vaccines available,” said NCFD Battalion Chief Robert Hernandez.

He said city staff rallied in less than 24 hours to organize and promote the vaccination station via social media. It was the latest in a series of walk-up, no-appointment-needed locations throughout San Diego County.

“I jumped on that opportunity,” said National City resident Jerry Stanley. “They probably realize people like me are having a hard time getting appointments and they’re making this happen, which is really great.”

Southwestern College in Chula Vista hosted a similar drop-in vaccination clinic on Friday.

“The idea of now seeing our lines starting to diminish, you would think that would be a bad thing, but it’s actually a good thing,” explained Chief Hernandez. “That tells us that people that want to get the vaccine are getting the vaccine.”

As of April 29, the County of San Diego said more than 53% of eligible people were vaccinated.

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Hernandez said they aren’t seeing supply issues as much and the lines are getting shorter.

“We are starting to see that and that’s a positive thing,” he smiled.

San Diego Fire Deputy Chief Chris Heiser agreed.

He said they are seeing much fewer supply issues and he anticipated adding more walk-in, no-appointment-needed vaccination clinics around the city.

At the same time, National City staff said they aren’t relaxing their efforts. Chief Hernandez said the city would be out Saturday morning with a 1,000 door hangers encouraging people to get vaccinated.

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