PASO ROBLES — Monday, Jan. 18, was the first day for COVID-19 vaccinations at the North County Point of Distribution (POD) located at the Paso Robles Event Center. 

Vaccines are currently available by appointment only.

Adults over the age of 75 and specific health care workers are eligible for vaccinations. To make a vaccination appointment and learn how to prepare for your visit, visit recoverslo.org/en/vaccine-registration.aspx.

Anyone with underlying health conditions is asked to wait for a 30 minute observation period after the vaccination.

Getting through this together, Atascadero

Currently, the site can distribute 400 vaccines a day. When registration opened for appointments at the Paso Robles site, 2,000 appointments were booked within four hours. 

Appointments are booked through this Friday, Jan. 22. Based on availability for vaccines next week, the distribution center will determine how many appointments will be available.

Charles Lockwood, the Paso Robles Fire Department’s Public Information Officer, said, “One thing we are trying to encourage people to do is to make sure they have a reservation before they get here, specifically because it’s all quantity related – so if you don’t have an appointment we’re going to have to turn you away.”

The North County POD is issuing only the Moderna Vaccine. The batch of vaccines being distributed at the site is not from the recent batch of vaccines that California called a pause for due to several allergic reactions.

Vaccine recipients will be notified by phone or email when it is time to register for their next dose. 

However, if your first dose was Moderna, your second dose must also be Moderna. 

Pfizer vaccines are available at the SLO POD.

The North County Point of Distribution (POD) center, located at the Paso Robles Event Center, starting seeing their first patients on Monday, Jan. 18. Navy Veteran and Morro Bay resident Don Lockwood received his first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations. Photos by Camille DeVaul

Navy Veteran and Morro Bay resident Don Lockwood knew he would be in line to get a vaccine when he learned how serious the pandemic is, “I wanted to get mine as soon as I could because this thing is nasty.”

“I’m very impressed. It is well done. We didn’t hear a lot about how it was being handled originally – but this is well done,” Lockwood said.

According to Lockwood, the North County POD is looking to get a larger supply of vaccine doses. Of course, more doses means more appointments, and that means more staff will be needed. 

Currently, the North County POD is run by health care workers from nearby hospitals, paramedics, and other healthcare professionals from the county office. 

The site will eventually need more health care workers to take the place of the paramedics who will be needed back in the field. 

For information on volunteering or about the COVID-19 vaccines, visit readyslo.org.