SPANISH FORK, Utah — A vacant store in Spanish Fork has been converted to a high-capacity COVID-19 vaccination facility.
The site, which is housed in an old Shopko building at the juncture of I-15 and Main St., opened Tuesday and is Utah County’s second high-capacity vaccination facility.
“We simply can’t keep up with the demand [for COVID-19 vaccinations] and that is a good thing,” said Utah County Health Department spokesman Eric Edwards.
The facility is currently servicing about 1,000 people per day, as the number of available COVID-19 doses allows. Utah County Health Department officials expect several thousand people will be able to get their vaccinations each day once they have enough doses available to administer.
“A much greater amount of space to be able to provide social distancing and to accommodate the lines to be separated with social distancing as well and to get people in and out as quick as possible and as safely as possible, that’s the goal,” said Utah County Emergency Management spokesman Peter Quittner. “Everyone we talk to you says; ‘I can’t believe it, I just drove by this facility last week and it was vacant and now we have a mega vaccine distribution site running and it’s incredible.“
Several county agencies and the building’s owner worked together to make the mass vaccination facility a reality. Quittner said many of the people involved worked on their own time to prepare the building.
“So, the idea is to get vaccines in arms within seven days of receiving those vaccine shipments from the state of Utah,” Edwards said.
Utah County will run out of its latest allotment of COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of the week. But the United States government recently purchased 200 million vaccine doses to be delivered by this summer, and President Biden said a minimum of 10 million doses will be administered each week.
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Utah County is looking to hire nurses and volunteers to keep its mass vaccination facilities running smoothly. Call 801-861-HELP (4357) or visit the Utah County Health Department website for details.