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COVID Vaccines: Contra Costa Drop-In Sites End Frustration Among Those Struggling To Find Appointments

ANTIOCH (KPIX 5) – Contra Costa County is offering vaccinations, with no appointment necessary. It's a way of reaching those who have been hesitant to make appointments, or simply unable to.

"I had polio a long time ago when I was a kid, when everyone was getting polio," said Francis Jensen. "Everyone they gave out I got, that I know of. And here I am, getting another one."

Jensen was able to get a shot without leaving her car today. No appointment needed, just her granddaughter knowing to bring her to the Antioch Community Center.

"Oh, when she told me," Jensen sighed with relief. "She's the one that got this for me. I was just so happy."

In Richmond, Shirley Gayer had been holding out until her son told her it was time.

"I go, 'I'll do it,'" Gayer said. "He said, 'You promise?' I said, 'Yeah, I promise.'"

Drop-in Vax Richmond
A woman receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a drop-in site in Richmond. (CBS)

"Just tried talking to her about it," says her son, city council member Melvin Willis. "I told her all of my friends, now myself too, and other folks have gotten it and they have been fun to try to get down here. And also because it's walk in and no appointment, no trouble."

For a lot of people at these walk-in clinics, eligibility was never an obstacle.

"Those people, when their time came months ago, probably did not have the resources to get to the mass vaccination centers," says Richmond Site Lead Richard Sandoval. "Now they do. It's in their front door."

For others, the walk-in option was out-of-the blue convenience.

"My girlfriend told me about it, that they were doing shots up here," said Cesare Scott of Richmond. "So I decided to come up here with her to see if I get the shot. It was very smooth. Maybe 20-25 minutes in and out."

For some, a simple flyer ended weeks of frustration.

"That's what happened with me today," explained Monyea White in Antioch. "I saw this sign and came on in. I've been looking all over the Internet and had no luck. Today was my lucky day."

Both sites are equipped to deal with multiple languages. All one needs is to be a member of the local community, have an ID, or maybe a grandchild to get them there.

"Yes she did," Jensen says of her granddaughter. "She helps me with everything. I never would've made it to 81, I'll tell you."

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