As SLO County's mass vaccination clinics close, pharmacies could see more appointments

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Posted at 6:05 PM, May 07, 2021

A month from now, all three mass vaccination sites in San Luis Obispo County will close.

Health officials say that's because people aren't showing up like they once were and now they're transitioning to mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics.

Meanwhile, Cayucos Pharmacy, which was one of the first vaccination sites outside of Public Health, says it's vaccinations have recently slowed down but that may change with the looming closures.

Cayucos Pharmacy has administered hundreds of COVID-19 shots over the past several months, but owner and head pharmacist Dr. Greg Flores says demand isn't like what it once was.

"There isn't quite as much chaos as there was in the beginning," Dr. Flores explained.

He says over the past few weeks, he's seen roughly an 80% decrease in people visiting the pharmacy daily for a shot.

"We've seen a significant drop off but it's still a steady number of patients coming in to get vaccinated weekly," he said.

SLO County Public Health officials tell us they too noticed a sharp decrease in demand for the shot a few weeks ago.

"This week, in particular, as an example, we're giving far more second doses than we have first doses and so as we take appointments for the coming weeks, we're noticing the need to not have as many days of operation," said Michelle Shoresman, SLO County COVID-19 Response Spokesperson.

It led to a decision to shut down the mass vaccination sites in San Luis Obispo, Arroyo Grande, and Paso Robles.

Cayucos Pharmacy, however, will continue with its doses.

"We may even see an uptick because they are closing down but we will be open," Dr. Flores said. "We vaccinate at least four days a week."

The county will instead transition to mobile clinics for entities that can provide 25 or more vaccine recipients.

"If they want to host a site, we will bring the medical staff, we will bring the documentation that's needed and if they provide a location and other resources needed, we will come to them," Shoresman said.

If you'd like to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine with Cayucos Pharmacy, you can do it on the state's My Turn website.

The pharmacy adds that if you're hesitant about getting a vaccine, you can call or visit the pharmacy to get any questions answered you may have in determining if it's right for you.