ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4 News) — The Southwest Utah Public Health Department on Thursday rolled out its biggest vaccine clinic of the pandemic yet, administering 3,100 doses of the Moderna vaccine to Washington County residents aged 70 and older. 

The large-scale, appointment-only clinic was held at the St. George Senior Center at 245 N 200 W. Residents were asked to arrive within five minutes of their appointment while on-site workers called out each time-slot to allow locals to quickly move through the long lines.

“When my wife came last week, it was a long line that walked around the building,” St. George resident Gene Webb tells ABC4. “Today, they’ve organized the process by time, and it’s really impressive.”

Locals went through a half-hour process to complete paperwork, receive the vaccine, and wait 15 minutes to monitor any symptoms, according to David Heaton, public information officer for the Southwest Utah Public Health Department.

“We found a venue here at the St. George Senior Center that is a lot more conducive to handling bigger crowds compared to our public health department building,” Heaton said. “We had a similar clinic last week, and we continue to make adjustments to make this process as efficient as possible.” 

Cars lined the streets as every appointment until 4 o’clock Thursday afternoon was filled. Heaton tells ABC4 that all appointments in the five-county district are booked through the end of February. On Mar. 1, eligibility expands even further to residents aged 65 and older and adults with various underlying health conditions.

While the health district is primarily administering the Moderna vaccine, Heaton estimates that about 2,100 southwestern Utah residents received their first dose with a limited supply of the Pfizer vaccine. SWUPHD confirmed with ABC4 that the Feb. 16 clinic at the St. George Senior Center will be the only opportunity for those individuals to receive their second dose; otherwise, they will need to seek it out from another provider. The health department will be allowing walk-ins for those people, as all slots are currently full, according to Heaton.

“If you got the Pfizer dose from us before, bring your card with you on the 16th and we’ll fit you in as well,” Heaton added. “We’ve got to use all the Pfizer doses because once they’re thawed, they can’t be reused.”

The health district says it’s eager to receive more supplies from the state and federal levels, as thousands of its elderly residents are still waiting to snag a coveted appointment.