SACRAMENTO, Calif. — People didn't wait long on Thursday to get their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine at a large-scale vaccination clinic in Sacramento.
It was one of three of the Northern California clinics Sutter Health got up and running on Jan. 30. The goal, a Sutter spokesperson said, was efficiency as they vaccinated up to 1,000 people each day since then.
Peggy Winger, 74, said her doctor scheduled her just the day before to get her first coronavirus shot.
"I was overwhelmed because I had a 10 a.m. appointment and there were quite a few people," she explained. "It went very smoothly. They sent me up, got me in, got the shot and now I’m waiting to go home."
The Sacramento, Modesto, and Roseville Sutter Health vaccine clinics are currently booking for Sutter patients who are 65 and over. If someone is in that age group, but not a Sutter patient, they can register to become a member on Sutter's website: My Health Online or call 844-987-6115. From there, a Sutter spokesperson said people should be able to either book an appointment or get on a waitlist.
When people do manage to book appointments, however, what does getting a vaccine at one of these sites entail?
First of all, the clinics are not first come first serve, but by appointment. So people are advised not to come more than 15 minutes early.
When patients first get to the site, a parking lot attendant greets them to make sure they have an appointment.
If patients are more than 15 minutes early, they are asked to wait in their cars before getting in line. This is to avoid congestion and so people don’t have to wait as long in the cold.
At the front of this line, patients show their ID’s or medical record numbers to get checked in. Followed by another short wait -- this time indoors in spaced-out chairs.
People are then called up to get their shot at one of the 15 vaccination stations. After a quick injection in the arm, patients go to another waiting area to book their next vaccination.
"I’m very happy that I was able to come in and get it," said 80-year-old Constance Doyle, who got her first shot on Thursday.
Continue the conversation with Barbara on Facebook.