Need a COVID vaccine? Hundreds of appointments are available in Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. — Are you looking for a COVID-19 vaccine? There are hundreds of appointments in both Washington and Idaho, and healthcare providers want you to sign up fast.

On April 15th, Washington will open up availability to anyone 16 and older. For providers like MultiCare, they say demand for an appointment isn’t an issue right now, though it could be when more people become eligible.

“Every day we have capacity to see 100 patients per hour,” said Dr. Jessica McHugh, Medical Director of Primary Care at MultiCare Rockwood Clinic. “That’s sort of the standard. We’re running that three days a week.”

You can find appointments through some major providers in Spokane County.

As of Wednesday evening, MultiCare has over 500 appointments available for April 8th and 9th at Deaconess. Through Providence, it has more than 400 appointments open for its April 13th clinic at the Spokane Teaching Health Center. According to CHAS, more than 6,000 first dose appointments until April 17th are open for its newest clinic at Spokane Community College.

The mass vaccination site at the Spokane Arena has appointments available this month. According to the Washington Department of Health, which runs the site, it started offering leftover doses to people. All you have to do is show up to the waiting lot 45 minutes before the arena closes. If there are doses available, you can get a shot. The DOH is also doing walk-ups on April 8th between 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

“If there are leftover doses at the end of the day the site will either use them the following day or work with Safeway, which is its provider, and those doses may be transferred back to the pharmacy and administered there,” the DOH told 4 News Now.

In Idaho, Panhandle Health is offering several vaccination clinics in all five North Idaho counties. You can also join a waiting list.

These are just through major health providers, and your local provider may also have doses for you.

The amount of appointments may not be the same come next week.

“I suspect that while we have appointments available today, as soon as the phases open up next week, the appointment availability may go down,” McHugh said. “There may be some competition for those early appointments, right? Because we’re opening up to the biggest phase that we’ve had previous.”

So why are there so many appointments available? We took this question to the Department of Health. Officials aren’t sure, but said they will look into the trends in Spokane County.

“Ultimately this is why we are concerned about making sure there’s strong vaccine confidence so that when people are eligible, they are availing themselves to the appointments,” said Dr. Umair Shah, the Secretary of Health for the DOH.

McHugh is encouraging everyone who is eligible for a vaccine to get one as soon as you can.

“We want people to come and get vaccinated,” she said. “We are looking forward to a state when we can offer vaccines to everyone and get through on the other side of this pandemic.”

RELATED: Younger people driving new COVID-19 infections, may cause fourth wave in Washington

RELATED: Coeur d’Alene Fire, local partners team up to administer vaccines to homebound N. Idahoans