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Walk-ins create long lines at COVID second-dose clinic in Las Vegas

Updated February 11, 2021 - 2:34 pm

Long lines for second doses of COVID-19 vaccines snaked outside the Las Vegas Convention Center early Thursday, largely due to a high number of people seeking walk-in appointments, the Southern Nevada Health District said.

The queue of people waiting for shots stretched far into the parking lot outside the clinic reserved for second doses.

It was the second day in a row of long lines outside the center. Health district officials blamed Wednesday’s backup on “technical issues” at the site.

“It did slow things down quite a bit,” JoAnn Rupiper, the health district’s director of clinical services, said at a news briefing. “And we had to go to paper, which slows things down even further. So we should be back up to operations tomorrow (Thursday).”

The district opened the clinic to walk-ins last week for those who had their first dose of the Moderna vaccine but could not schedule an appointment for the second dose via its online scheduling portal, which was largely unavailable for several due to heavy demand.

The health district on Wednesday announced that the convention center will begin offering second doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week.

Walk-ins appointments are available only to those who have surpassed the required waiting periods for second shots — 28 days for the Moderna vaccine, and 21 days for the Pfizer version.

A sign at the convention center on Thursday warned people that walk-in appointments were no longer available.

“We absolutely have enough vaccine,” health district spokeswoman Jennifer Sizemore said in an emailed response to questions regarding the line. “As we have been stating since the beginning, walk-in appointments are offered based on clinic capacity. They reached capacity and no more walk-ins are being allowed for today.”

When walk-in appointments began last week, some people were turned away because they arrived at the site days early, but there were no lengthy lines for those who had appointments.

The site is taking walk-ins from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, when the doses are available, the health district has said.

The district will be taking only those walk-ins who got their first doses at these sites or events: the health district offices on Decatur Boulevard, Cashman Center, Western High School, Jerome Mack Middle School and vaccination clinics hosted by Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson and Touro University.

The convention center vaccination site is in the C-1 area of the facility’s Central Hall. Parking is available at Paradise Road and Convention Center Drive.

Second-dose appointments, when available, can be scheduled at https://covid.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/vaccine/second-dose/.

People with questions or who need assistance making appointments can call the health district at 702-759-1900. The line is staffed during business hours, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writer Mary Hynes contributed to this report.

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