“We’re going to be going through between 750 and 800 appointments today.”
Riverside County Department of Public Health spokesperson Jose Arballo has been at the forefront of the vaccine rollout in Riverside County. He was on site Sunday at the Indio Fairgrounds, which became one of the latest clinics to administer vaccines.
The clinic opened at 8:30 a.m. and was scheduled to go until 4:30 p.m.
Hundreds of people showed up. Most people waited in line for more than an hour, despite having an appointment.
“I feel great, exciting!” said Palm Springs resident, Marietta Perkins.
“I definitely don’t want to get the covid so I just needed to get the vaccine,” said La Quinta resident, Dan Gibeau.
Each and every person had their own reasons for showing up to receive the vaccine.
“I’m 73 years old I’ve been very, very careful. I haven’t seen my grandchildren in almost a year or my children. My mother-in-law is in an assisted living facility,” said Palm Springs resident, Austin Buffum.
Since last week’s first tier of Phase 1B opened up, more people have come out to get vaccinated even if that means waiting in line for more than an hour.
Residents in tier 1 of Phase 1B were given the go-ahead to get vaccinated. The group included people ages 65 and over and select essential workers, such as those in education, child care, emergency services and food and agriculture.
Vaccines are available for the following individuals who live or work in Riverside County:
- Acute Care
- Skilled Nursing Facilities and Assisted Living Facilities (medically vulnerable individuals)
- First Responders (paramedic/EMTs)
- Correctional Hospitals
- Behavior Health (psychiatric)
- Dialysis Centers (staff)
- Pharmacist & Pharmacy Staff
- Intermediate Care Facilities
- Law Enforcement
- Home Health and IHSS
- Public Health (field)/DPSS
- Community Health Workers
- Primary Care & Community Clinics
- Urgent Cares (stand-alone)
- Specialty Clinics
- Laboratory Workers
- Dental/Oral Health Clinics
- Mortuary Services Industries
- Food and Agriculture
- Emergency Services
“I would say the line is moving reasonably well. It’s moving better than I expected actually,” said Buffum.
Lines wrapped around the Fullenwider Auditorium. Sunday’s weather wasn’t exactly welcoming with temperatures climbing above 80 degrees.
“There’s too many people for what they’re trying to do. Why have appointments if you have to stand in line for hours to get in? I appreciate having the vaccine but it’s just poorly managed,” said La Quinta resident, David White.
The county has stressed that people will be turned away if they show up to a clinic without an appointment.
“We’re finding that the vast majority of people who actually make the appointments show up,” said Arballo.
As of Sunday night all appointments on the county’s website were taken.
“With our appointments this week we will be pretty much out of what we have now,” said Arballo.
The county is waiting on another vaccine shipment in order to make more appointments available.
“We have kept a certain amount for clinics like this but the vast majority of the vaccination allotment has gone to our community partners– there’s hospitals or clinics, other businesses or entities,” said Arballo.
Arballo said they are hoping to receive more vaccines in the next few days.
Last week the window opened to allow the next group of people to get vaccinated aside from solely healthcare workers.