Appointments no longer needed for vaccines at Cal Expo as demand falls

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – COVID-19 vaccines are now easier than ever to get, but local demand for the shots is dwindling, even as the virus continues to spread in the community.

Sacramento County’s drive-thru vaccination site at Cal Expo was a lonely place Monday morning.

“We have up to 10 lanes that can fill up, and we can be vaccinating feasibly 10 people every three to four minutes,” said Jason Cowan, regional manager for Curative.

Curative operates the Cal Expo site and the one at McClellan Park.

A few weeks ago, those places were booked solid with people eager to get the Pfizer vaccine. But over the past week, Cowan said there’s been “a fairly significant slowdown.”

Cowan said that as of Monday morning, there was somewhere between 2,800 and 3,000 drive-thru appointments available this week.

There is so much availability at Cal Expo that no appointment is necessary.

“If you don’t have time to make an appointment, we’d be happy to bring anyone up as a walk-up patient, and we’d be able to register you right here and get you vaccinated the same day that you wanted to,” Cowan explained.

Sacramento County is not the only place with vaccine to spare.

FOX40 went onto the MyTurn website where people anywhere in California can sign up to get a shot.

Appointment times are plentiful in several local counties. Cowan said it would be speculation to say why more people aren’t signing up.

“Maybe people are nervous about the vaccine. Maybe people don’t have time to come get the vaccine,” he said.

There’s been a lot of positive news lately about declining case numbers, but COVID-19 does continue to spread.

In Sacramento County over the past two weeks, there have about 1,500 new cases reported.

The 20 to 39 age group has the most, followed by those in their 40s and 50s.

A county spokesperson says a large portion of the cases are considered community spread.

In a county of more than 1.5 million people, the health department’s website shows 615,064 have been vaccinated against COVID-19 — 181,469 of those are partial vaccinations.

The number of those fully vaccinated is now at 433,595. But that’s only 28.4% of the county’s population.

Cowan is focused on finding solutions.

“I think it’s going to take a lot of outreach, a lot of reaching out to businesses, a lot of reaching out to community organizations, religious organizations, and is going to take ultimately all of us reaching out and helping provide that education, provide that support,” he said. “So ultimately, it’s really us all working together to figure out what we can do to ensure that as many people get vaccinated as they can.”

A Sacramento county spokesperson also told FOX40 at this time you do not have to live in Sacramento County to get your shot at the Cal Expo or McClellan Park sites.

Find your county’s vaccine progress using the charts below:

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