DENVER — Cars lined up in the snow at Ball Arena on Wednesday morning for the first day Coloradans could show up to the site without an appointment and receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
"We just decided to come drive up here and register here," said Fonte Castillo, who brought her dad with her to get the vaccine.
Castillo saw there were available appointments on the news and jumped at the opportunity to get the shot. She said they were able to register and receive their vaccines in less than 45 minutes.
"It was fairly quick and really easy," Castillo said.
Vaccines were first made available to the elderly in Colorado and many people struggled to get appointments during the first phases of the rollout. Months later, there appears to be a shift where available appointments are now outweighing demand.
When the vaccine first became available, appointments at SCL Health were filling up within an hour of being released.
"What we’ve seen now is when we post appointments, it may take a day or two to fill many of the appointments, and this week, we’ve seen a pretty dramatic shift," said Jennifer Davis, Assistant Director of Pharmacy Services at SCL Health." There’s still about 1,000 appointments available over the next week within our system."
The mass vaccine sites at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo County, The Ranch Events Complex in Larimer County and Ball Arena in Denver will be open for people to walk up or drive up to be vaccinated starting Wednesday. They will also continue to accept appointments online or by calling (720) 263-5737.
The site at Ball Arena can administer up to 5,000 doses per day, and a spokesperson for the state's Emergency Operations Center said she would love to see all of those appointments filled.
“We hoped that we would get to this point where the state’s allocation would allow us to be able to have those appointments more readily available," said Micki Trost with the Colorado Divsion of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.