SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The process of getting a COVID-19 vaccine appears to be getting easier around San Diego County, as more locations offer walk-up vaccinations with no appointments necessary.
Last week, county officials announced all county-hosted vaccination sites would now accept walk-ins without an appointment, as long as supplies are available.
This week, CVS Health, Walmart, and Sam's Club announced they would be accepting walk-ins for COVID-19 vaccinations as well.
CVS said its pharmacy locations will accept walk-ins across the country starting Wednesday — that includes 1,115 locations across California. Same-day scheduling is also offered for those who want to set an appointment time.
Walk-in vaccinations are also now available at 309 Walmart and Sam's Club pharmacies in California, while supply is available.
Sharp HealthCare also announced Sharp-operated vaccination clinics are also accepting walk-ins; that includes vaccination sites at the South Bay Superstation in Chula Vista, Grossmont Center, CSU San Marcos, and the Coronado Community Center.
"Anything that we can do to expand the vaccine availability is a good thing," said Dr. William Tseng, who is part of the California Medical Association (CMA) Board of Trustees and the vaccine lead at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego. "Comparing last week to this week, we've seen a little bit of a drop down in the number of people getting vaccines."
Tseng said while we're seeing a slowdown in vaccinations, allowing walk-ins will make the process more convenient, as some people can't always commit to a scheduled appointment.
"This really allows the flexibility and ease to get the access, and that's exactly what we want," said Tseng. "We know the variants are here, so let's get vaccinated, so it doesn't keep spreading."
As of Wednesday, the county reports more than 1.52 million or 56.6 percent of San Diegans 16 and older have received one dose of a two dose vaccine, and more than 1.11 million or 41.4 percent are fully vaccinated.
The goal is to get a little more than 2 million residents vaccinated; that's about 75 percent of those eligible. Tseng said there is still some hesitancy, but he hopes important conversations will help people make informed decisions.
"I don't think you can just ignore people just because they have hesitancy," he said. "There are true fears, people really are afraid, and if you can answer and explain and show them the data, people really understand and feel better and get vaccinated."