Dubuque County sets up first walk-in vaccine clinic in efforts to make vaccines more widely available

Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 9:05 PM CDT
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - Donald Maas had been trying to get the COVID-19 vaccine for a while.

”I have been trying Hartig Drug store, but they keep telling me, ‘Come back, come back, come back’,” he said.

On Tuesday, however, he got lucky at Dubuque County’s first walk-in vaccine clinic inside Kennedy Mall. He said he was in and out quick.

”I waited maybe about 15 minutes before I could leave after the shot and I probably sat about 10 minutes before I got it,” he said.

Patrice Lambert, director of the Dubuque County Public Health Department, said vaccine providers were struggling to fill-in appointments.

”What we found was that people were having conflicts in their own personal life,” she mentioned. “When we were offering our clinics for the vaccines, they might have not been able to leave work or else they had another commitment that they were not able to come in when we had our set times.”

Lambert said that is why the county decided to try something different with letting people get shots with no appointment.

”We want to accommodate the residents, the citizens of Dubuque County’s schedules,” she commented. “We do not want them to have to plan around our schedules with our set clinics that we have had in the past.”

Tuesday’s clinic was the first of four the county is hosting this week to try to make vaccines more accessible to people, and within the first 45 minutes, the clinic had to temporarily stop accepting walk-ins as it was running out of vaccines. Lambert explained that, when that happens, they get a second vaccine provider to assist in providing more vaccines.

The county will still be holding three more walk-in clinics this week:

  • Wednesday, April 21, from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. at the Kennedy Mall Vaccination Clinic.
  • Thursday, April 22, from noon - 7 p.m. at the Grand River Center Vaccination Clinic (500 Bell St., Dubuque, in the parking garage as drive-through only).
  • Saturday, April 24, 8 a.m. - Noon at the Kennedy Mall Vaccination Clinic.

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