Appointments are filling up as San Luis Obispo County made the first round of COVID-19 vaccinations available to more of the community.
The fairgrounds in Paso Robles is one of the three locations now offering vaccinations to residents over 75 years old in SLO County.
Over 4,000 residents are getting their first dose this week, and Terri Mitchell is one of them.
“I got here a little early, just because, well, you know how old people are!" Mitchell said.
Ali Durban is also one of the first seniors to get the vaccine, and she said she’s never been more excited to wait in a line before.
“Mentally it's wonderful," Durban said. "It’s my present to the country.”
SLO County executive Wade Horton said although the governor says those over 65 could receive a vaccine at this time, the state has not provided the county with enough vaccine doses to do that.
Horton said vaccinations are open to residents over 75 years old because a majority of COVID-19 deaths in the county—3 out of 4—are people in that age group.
“By getting the 26,000 people in our county who are 75 or older vaccinated first, we are all helping to prevent the most serious outcomes,” Horton said.
Mitchell said it’s been a long year, and he had no hesitations about getting the shot, despite some concerns he’s heard from friends and neighbors.
“My daughter is in medicine, she and her husband are in Southern California...she told me right away when this is available, you go get it,” Mitchell said.
Durban said the process was quick and easy once you get through the line.
“ I barely felt it, a member of the Atascadero fire department gave it to me and it was over in a second,” Durban said.
The county has reallocated some second-dose supply into first doses to get more seniors vaccinated. While two doses of the vaccine are required for maximum protection against COVID-19, public health officials assure residents not to worry if they cannot receive their second dose on the exact date they are eligible for it.
Dr. Penny Borenstein said second-dose appointments may be limited until more supply arrives from the state, but not for long.
To make an appointment, go to recoverslo.org/vaccineregistration.com