Early birds get vaccinated at Spokane Arena opening day

SPOKANE, Wash. — It was mission accomplished for many at the Spokane Arena this morning.

They set up an appointment at 9 a.m. — through the phone system or the on-line application — and had their vaccine within a couple hours.

This morning, people waited out in the parking lot for the Spokane Arena to open its doors at 9 a.m. But it wasn’t that simple — no one could book an appointment until that time.

Some who waited say they tried calling beforehand.

“My mom took the number down and I called it last night, but it said ‘Don’t call until 9 o’clock this morning,'” said Kristie Horsfield. “So now, I’ve got it here and I’ve got my phone ready and I’m going to call and hope I get through.”

And she did.

Horsfield works with older patients as a home care nurse.

“I need to have the shot,” explained Horsfield. “I just hope so because I don’t want to infect anybody that I take care of.”

It took her less than 30 minutes to get through the entire vaccination process. She’s not the only one, either — a couple of other early birds had an easy go of it at the Arena, too.

“It’s very well set up because you go here, here, here,” described Carolyn Foley. “It’s like four or five different areas that you’re going but they go very well once you start.”

Foley also said the shot itself was the same — quick and painless.

“I wasn’t afraid it was very good. I didn’t feel it at all,” said Foley.

Even though some showed up early, there will still a few hiccups.

“I went online to CHAS.org this morning, it gave me an appointment for 9:15 and said to show up 15 minutes early, which I did,” said Bill Long. “And then when I got here, they said ‘You do not have an appointment.’ So it’s a little confusing.”

Even with the confusion, Long was still able to get his vaccine.

“I don’t want to get sick, I don’t want to make anybody else sick,” said Foley.

There were some problems at the start, but hundreds of Spokane residents were vaccinated today.

“I’m praying that everybody does and it all works for them,” said Horsfield. “I really do.”