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How do Colorado's walk-up vaccine sites work?

The state added a site in Mesa County to its list of places you can receive your shot without signing up ahead of time.

MESA COUNTY, Colo. — You can now walk or drive up without an appointment to most of the state's mass vaccination sites.

Advance appointments are still recommended because sites are limited by supply, but the state said it's making every effort to vaccinate anyone who shows up.

We spoke to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and their Joint Vaccination Task Force’s Deputy Director Kate McIntire about how the new walk-up/drive-up format will work without an appointment for four of the state’s six mass vaccination sites.

9NEWS: Where can I walk up or drive up without an appointment to get my vaccine?

Can I count on receiving a vaccine if I do this?

McIntire: Advance appointments are still recommended at these sites to reduce waiting time and help site operators manage their schedule and inventory. Sites are constrained by vaccine supply, but they are making every effort to administer a vaccine to any Coloradan who shows up.

McIntire said the state will do everything it can to accommodate walk-ups/drive-ups.

For example, [Wednesday] at the Ranch, most of their appointments were full. They had about 80 or so walk-ups. They were able to work them in any way.

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What’s the best way to ensure that I get a vaccine?

McIntire: Going to CovidCheckColorado.org and seeing if there are appointments available at a site you want to go to will be the best way to know if that particular site will have plenty of doses that day.

Again, even if there aren’t appointments, the site will try to accommodate you if you just show up.

McIntire also said if you do see an open appointment online, you might as well just sign up for it. It will save you time once you get to the site.

It might take a little bit longer because they have to register you. Although that process will only take between five and 10 minutes.

Can you get your second dose at a mass vaccination site, even if you did not get your first dose at one?

McIntire: Yes.

The important thing is to make sure that they’re getting the type of vaccine that they need. If they got Moderna for their first shot, they need to get Moderna for their second

Our Where Can I Get Vaccinated page has information on our community vaccination sites including hours, location, and which type(s) of vaccine they are administering.

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What should be done with our vaccine cards once we are fully vaccinated?

McIntire: Vaccine cards are a part of a person’s medical records. Vaccine cards contain information including brand, lot number, and in the case of a two-dose vaccine series, an important reminder of when the second will be administered.
There are varying opinions on laminating vaccine cards, but Coloradans may laminate their vaccine cards if they choose to do so once their vaccination series is complete. Some office supply stores are offering free lamination services for vaccine cards.

Other methods for safekeeping may include taking photographs of both sides of the card, scanning the card and saving the file on a computer or other device, or using a small plastic cover similar to a luggage tag to reduce wear and tear on the card from handling. Carrying a digital copy can reduce the risk of losing or destroying the original.

RELATED: COVID vaccines available without appointment at 3 Colorado sites

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