By Makenzie O'Keefe

DENVER (CBS4)– Despite the initial rush to sign up for a slot to get the COVID-19 vaccine, many clinics and hospital networks have hundreds of appointments open and ready to go. SCL Health is beginning to see a tipping point of vaccinations, where vaccine supply and availability is outweighing the demand to get the shot.

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At the start of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, SCL Health filled appointments within minutes, giving out nearly 5,000 new doses a week. Jennifer Davis, the Assistant Director of Pharmacy Services with SCL Health says now, that number has dropped to about 1,000 new doses a week.

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“There were a lot of people who were excited to get vaccinated and they jumped to the front of the line and now we’re maybe in that situation where people are busier or just don’t feel the urgency to get vaccinated,” she explained.

Davis said now that those enthusiastic about getting vaccinated have gotten their shot, SCL Health is focusing on those who may have barriers to getting the shot or may be hesitant to do so.

SCL Health has expanded clinics outside of the hospital, for example at the Colorado Mills mall, to make it easier and more convenient for people to get vaccinated.

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“We also will be opening our vaccine call center next week who haven’t been able to get online or use our other sources to call and schedule themselves to get a vaccine,” Davis said.

The hospital network is encouraging everyone age 16 and up to get scheduled for their vaccine to help the community reach herd immunity and prevent COVID-19 variants the opportunity to mutate.

Davis says not only are the vaccines safe but for younger populations, getting vaccinated can help lead to a better sense of normalcy.

“Many of them play sports or have other activities and if they have been exposed at school, typically they would need to quarantine for a bit of time,” Davis explained. ‘And now if you’re vaccinated with the rules of the CDC, you don’t have to quarantine if you are exposed.”

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Appointments are available by registering at sclhealth.org/covidvaccine.

Makenzie O'Keefe