LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The vaccine is slowly becoming more widely available but the largest vaccination effort in American history remains a work in progress, according to Clark County authorities.
On Wednesday, 70-year-old Dan Leighton says his 10 a.m. vaccination appointment turned into a two-hour ordeal.
"I got down there around 9:30 a.m. and I got in line," said Leighton.
"It wound around the parking lot and you finally get into the building around noontime," added Leighton.
Leighton, a retired Rhode Island fire captain, says limited signage and poor communication outside the building plagued the process, which he described as troublesome for seniors who have limited mobility and may not be able to stand for an extended period of time.
"People in wheelchairs, walkers, sit down seats and some people were having difficulty, the National Guard would come out with wheelchairs and scoop them up and get them in to get their shots," said Leighton.
Leighton says there were limited bathroom facilities and no seating options.
He also says the process was more smooth once inside Cashman Center. There, people were directed by the National Guard troops who are assisting with the multi-agency testing and vaccination effort.
Clark County authorities point out the overall reception and feedback from the operations at Cashman Center has been positive but admit there are reports of some troubles.
"We apologize to anybody who was inconvenienced by that and hope to get them vaccinated as soon as possible," said Clark County Fire Department Chief John Steinbeck.
Wednesday also marked the first day of vaccine distribution at all 45 Smith's pharmacies across Nevada.
"The energy and excitement were great from all of our teams," said Dan Heller, pharmacy practice coordinator for Smith's Food and Drug Pharmacies.
"There is such a high demand that the phone calls coming in the pharmacy are having a challenge," Heller said.
Heller reports brisk business with seniors 70 and older quickly snatching available appointment slots.
"I'm happy to finally get the vaccine shot and I'm looking forward to being able to get out of my house and see my grandchildren," said 79-year-old Mary Sue DuBach.
DuBach says she was able to quickly make an appointment through the Smith's website and says the process was smooth without any delays or waiting.
"This was fabulous. There was no line," she said, "easy in, easy out."
"I was so happy that Kroger is doing the shots because we got our flu shots here and it's very smooth as well," added DuBach.
Smith's reminds people that no walk-ins are being accepted and appointments must be made online.