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Drive-thru COVID-19 vaccine clinic serves 700 people at McGee Park

Event described as largest of its kind in New Mexico so far

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times
Drivers line up at McGee Park on Jan. 30, 2021, outside Farmington to receive a COVID-19 vaccination from Presbyterian Medical Services staff members.

FARMINGTON — A COVID-19 drive-thru vaccination clinic staged today by Presbyterian Medical Services and aided by the San Juan County Office of Emergency Management served approximately 700 people in what officials are calling the largest such event in New Mexico at this point.

The event took place at McGee Park between Farmington and Bloomfield. It began at 10 a.m. and ran well past its planned finish time of 12:30, with the final shots not being administered until nearly 3 p.m., according to San Juan County spokesman Devin Neeley.

Neeley was part of the crew that helped check in people for their vaccinations. Those receiving shots had to have made an appointment, so the number of people who showed up for the clinic was not a surprise, he said.

"It got more efficient as the day progressed," Neeley said.

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Drivers check in with a volunteer before receiving a COVID-19 vaccination on Jan. 30, 2021, during a drive-thru clinic at McGee Park outside Farmington.

Even though some folks were forced to wait up to a couple of hours past their appointment time to receive a vaccination, Neeley said most people were cooperative with the process.

"Generally, people were very happy and anxious to get the vaccine," he said. "We knew this was going to be an event where people needed to bring some patience. By and large, people were excited to have this opportunity to get the vaccine."

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The vaccines were administered by PMS staff members, Neeley said, while volunteers from New Mexico National Guard, the Office of Emergency Management, the New Mexico State Police, the San Juan County staff, the Local Emergency Planning Committee and the San Juan County Fire Department also took part.

A Presbyterian Medical Services employee prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine during a drive-thru shot clinic on Jan. 30, 2021, at McGee Park outside Farmington.

Neeley said no dates have been set for additional drive-thru shot clinics in the county.

"But I do anticipate there will be because the goal right now it to get shots in arms," he said.

Anyone interested in receiving a vaccine in New Mexico must register on the state's website at vaccinenm.org.

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Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or measterling@daily-times.com. Support local journalism with a digital subscription.