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People line up Aug. 31 for COVID-19 tests at the Skagit County Fairgrounds in Mount Vernon.

More adjustments are coming to Skagit County’s COVID-19 vaccine and testing site, after staff had a busy first day Monday administering vaccine boosters.

Starting Wednesday, boosters will be given by appointment only. Information on appointments is available at skagitcounty.net/COVIDvaccine.

County spokesperson Danica Sessions said this allows Public Health staff to screen for eligibility ahead of time and better anticipate demand.

On the county’s first day administering boosters, the line of cars waiting at the Skagit County Fairgrounds site stretched for blocks, and at times reached the Mount Vernon post office, Sessions said. She said 80 of the 96 vaccine doses given Monday were Pfizer boosters.

Over the weekend, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine for those 65 and older, and those who have underlying medical conditions or work in certain high-risk settings. Those eligible must have received their second Pfizer vaccine shot at least six months ago.

Additionally, starting Oct. 4 the site will be open from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The change in hours is in response to demand for late afternoon availability, Sessions said.

When the county site reopened four weeks ago, hours were set at 5 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Sessions said those who have received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine are well protected against COVID-19, and staff will continue to prioritize giving first and second doses.

“Our No. 1 priority has — and will continue to be — first and second doses, so we want to make sure that folks who are making the decision to get vaccinated for the first time do not need to sit in hours of traffic,” she said.

Because demand for services — both tests and vaccinations — at the fairgrounds site is high, Sessions said those who are eligible and want a booster may want to seek an appointment at a pharmacy.

— Reporter Brandon Stone: bstone@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2112, Twitter: @Brandon_SVH

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