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Portlanders find booster shot walk-in success

People have had difficulty getting appointments for COVID vaccine boosters, but there are some success stories for people getting their boosters without appointments

PORTLAND, Oregon — As COVID-19 booster shot appointments become harder to find, some Portlanders are finding success through walk-in availability at some pharmacies. 

KGW visited the Safeway Store in Portland's Pearl District on Wednesday. The pharmacy was open with COVID vaccine booster shots available. It was first come, first serve and at times— no waiting.

One couple was relieved to get theirs after trying to book appointments online and failing.

“It was a piece of cake," said Jerry Saunders. "It was quick, the staff was great it was way easier than we would have thought. And we've been trying to get booster shots for a month now, a month and a half.”  

From there, KGW crossed the Willamette River to LeCare Pharmacy on Northeast 42nd Avenue in the Hollywood District.

RELATED: How to get a booster or third COVID vaccine dose in Oregon and Washington

There they had one line for Pfizer, one line for Moderna and also offered Johnson & Johnson as well.

“They’re very happy and the line is moving really quick, we have two pharmacists that are doing the vaccines,” said Pharmacist Sandy Le, who owns LeCare Pharmacy with her husband.

Back in July, Le was delivering COVID vaccine to sailors from around the world while their ships were docked in Portland.

Credit: Tim Gordon, KGW

Now she is taking care of her local neighbors. She does as many as 400-500 walk-in appointments per day, she said.

“Oh they're so happy, they appreciate us a lot. I'm happy that we're here to help them get the booster,” said Le.    

RELATED: US extends mask mandate for travelers through mid-March

Mary Grothaux was one of those happy to wait for her turn in the Moderna line.

“I need my booster shot because I want to be as COVID-free as possible. I really hope that everybody gets the vaccination so we can get rid of this virus as much as possible, so fewer people can die and be hurt,” said Grothaux.

Jim Schell and Tali Ovadia were also very glad to get their boosters after being unable to find appointments on time

“A huge relief, great check off the list, and these guys are great. We really appreciate them being available and making it available to people so easily,” said Schell.