FRESNO, California (KSEE) – Fresno County health officials are using new protocols at the Fresno Fairgrounds vaccination site to speed up wait times for people getting their doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
The changes come after many waited over two hours on Thursday at the mass vaccination site.
“Many elderly people do not have the ability to stand for 45 minutes, let alone two hours,” said Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig. “So, staff here at the county did that very quickly.”
Fresno County now requires everyone to schedule an appointment online. Those that do not will be turned away. Only healthcare workers and people 75 years and older are eligible.
Patients also cannot stand in line until 30 minutes prior to their appointment. If you arrive early, you will be asked to wait in your car.
“This was very organized,” said vaccine recipient Laurie Misaki. “A welcome way to get taken care of.”
Marcia Falk was nervous about waiting in line for hours because of the long lines earlier in the week. Especially because she uses supplemental oxygen and a walker.
“I thought today was going to be horrible.” she said.
Her husband Ted stood in line for over two hours on Thursday to get his second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Fresno County Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra said the changes are a temporary solution and the system will be re-evaluated in the future if more problems arise.
“We just need to see how that works,” said Vohra. “Run sever iterations and get lessons learned so that is the plan.”
Fresno County is working with around 100 medical providers to administer vaccines in the near future. Officials believe that will be much more efficient because primary care doctors can simply call their patients once they are eligible.