Officials Explain How Vaccine Distribution Will Work In The Coming Weeks

Nico Payne

As vaccine distribution continues, many have questions about who qualifies and more importantly, how to make a vaccination appointment. NBC Palm Springs spoke to public and private health officials along with local pharmacies on what is expected in the coming weeks.

After appointments quickly filled up on Thursday, Riverside County health officials have decided to expand clinics from Jan. 19th through Jan. 22nd.

“We’re going to be making our appointments all the way from Tuesday to Friday at our four locations, Corona High School, Heritage, San Gorgonio Middle School, and out in Indio,” said Jose Arballo, Senior Public Information Specialist with Riverside County.

The county added 11,000 additional appointments at the four locations and officials that were filled within hours.

“The last time we did this it filled up in four hours, so we are hoping that with more appointments we’ll be able to get more people in,” explained Arballo.

Other resources people can turn to our local pharmacies like Albertsons.

“We keep opening up new slots daily and we always book out about two weeks ahead, and then we will also make appointments for the second dose for the patient when they are in our stores to get their first dose,” said Tersia Stone, Division Pharmacy Manager of Albertsons.

Albertson relies on Riverside County for their vaccinations and has already requested vaccination distribution for Vons pharmacies at no cost.

“Even uninsured patients that have no insurance or if it’s not covered we will process those for the patient at a zero cost,” explained Stone.

The Desert Aids Project in Palm Springs will start vaccinating their frontline workers and volunteers on Saturday, before moving to their over 8,000 clients and the general public.

“When we have vaccine available and we are ready to vaccinate somebody, we reach out through them through our electronic health record or through text messaging. starting with January 25th we’ll move on to start vaccinating our patients, just following the tier system that riverside county has sent out,” said David Brinkman, CEO of Desert Aids Project.

There are more than 175 covid-19 vaccine providers in Riverside County, residents are urged to check with their primary care physician, urgent care, and pharmacy for vaccine availability.

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