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COVID-19 booster appointments filling up fast, but walk-ins may be available

Some people are frustrated by the lack of available appointments to get the booster shot. Others say they were able to walk up to a pharmacy to get it.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Anyone 18 and older is now authorized to get a COVID-19 booster shot, but actually finding a shot available has been more difficult than some people expected.

Many have reached out to KGW with concerns that they can't find any boosters available and saying scheduling an appointment can be a headache, but accounts are varied. Some have said they walked right into a pharmacy and ended up getting their booster at the same time as their flu shot, since some pharmacies are allowing walk-ins based on supply. Other people have said finding an appointment is near impossible.

On Monday morning, there were two available appointments on the OHSU website, on Dec. 1 and 2. Before the appointment could be booked, those open appointments disappeared. 

The Walgreens website said there was no available appointments at locations in Portland. The websites said the soonest availability in the Salem area was Monday, Dec. 6. 

On the CVS website, there was no availability in the Portland area until Dec. 6 for the few stores that popped up. But in the Salem area, there seemed to be much more availability starting the first of December.

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Availability seems somewhat dependent on the situation and location. Appointment availability constantly changes. It's something state health officials already knew might happen when it announced the authorization of boosters for all Oregonians age 18 and older over the weekend.

“I want to ask for your patience. While there are plenty of COVID-19 vaccine doses available to accommodate requests for booster vaccines, a booster appointment may not be immediately available. But it will be,” said Rachael Banks, public health director for the Oregon Health Authority.

Still, public health officials are encouraging people to move forward with scheduling appointments for the soonest date available.

If people are unable or do not want to wait to schedule an appointment, it’s possible to find pharmacies that offer walk-up booster shots. Some health care organizations recommend calling pharmacies first for details.

People looking for booster shot appointments can check availability on Oregon's vaccine finder tool or Washington's vaccine locator.

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