Independence welcomes walk-ins as metro COVID-19 vaccine clinics struggle to fill appointments

Tracking Coronavirus

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Vaccine clinics throughout the metro are struggling to fill appointments.

People in the right place at the right time are getting vaccinated in the metro with extra doses as to not waste any of the valuable vaccines.

The Independence Health Department has just over 3,500 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to give out this week and anticipates using only about 2,000 to 2,500 of them. In an effort to administer as many doses as possible, the city has opened up its clinic to walk-ins.

“I had been to my chiropractor this morning and he told me that he heard that they were giving those here in Independence today, so I said I’m gonna check it out,” said Amanda Holland.

Her trip to Independence Center paid off with a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Holland is one of many people who are getting the vaccine without an appointment.

Anthony Early got the heads up from a friend.

“When he came out here this morning he said that they were doing walk-ins so I said let’s go out there and get it done while I have the day off,” Early said.

The time of vaccine clinics is one of the reasons Independence Acting Health Director Christina Heinen believes so many appointments remain open.

To accommodate work schedules, this week’s vaccine clinic will be open until 6:15 p.m. and have possible opportunities on Saturday.

“We actually have a second dose clinic on Saturday that we are doing. If we have any leftover vaccine from anyone who’s a no-show we will at the end of the night if we have open vials, go ahead and distribute those as first doses,” Heinen said.

Increased vaccine availability is also contributing to unscheduled appointments.

Last month the City of Independence gave out nearly 6,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and expects to administer 15,000 in April. But a change in Missouri’s vaccine eligibility may soon make appointments a hot commodity again.

“All Missourians over 16 will be eligible on Friday, so we are hoping we will have a lot more people who are eligible and ready to come in,” Heinen said.

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