Residents flock to UOG vaccination after eligibility expansion; online sign-ups already full this week

While more people lined up today to get vaccinated, the process ran smoothly. (PNC photo by Isaiah Aguon)

Residents young and old flocked to the UOG Fieldhouse vaccination clinic today after the Vaccine and Antiviral Prioritization Policy Committee expanded the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to 16 years old and older which came into effect today.

Operation Liberate Guam is based at the UOG Fieldhouse and is being conducted by the Guam National Guard in partnership with the Office of the Governor and Public Health.

The goal is to get the island to 80% herd immunity through vaccines by Liberation Day on July 21, 2021.

Guam National Guard Public Affairs Officer Captain Mark Scott says that while the National Guard already expected more people lining up to get vaccinated, the process ran smoothly.

Captain Scott says that although the parking lot and hallways were filled with residents, everything remained under control.

He said that all appointments have been booked for the rest of the week and is asking residents to stay patient as the Guard is working to upload the links for next week’s clinic bookings.

Scott encourages residents to schedule an appointment online via Eventbrite.

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“That also really helps us. It helps us space out the crowd and not have everyone come in at once,” Scott said.

He added that 15 walk-ins are allowed per hour but they will accommodate as many people as possible.

“We can flex to accommodate more than 15 per hour. I’ve seen it done in the past where we’ve accommodated up to 35 per hour and more. But again, out of the safety of the crew and community, 15 per hour is a sustainable amount,” Scott said.

Scott believes the island can achieve the herd immunity goal by Liberation Day.

Meanwhile, 17-year-old Kyleah Manibusan got her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine today.

The Dededo resident says that she feels great and got vaccinated to keep our island safe.

“Do come down because it’s a good day to get vaccinated. The service is fast. We are all one family. Come down to keep our island safe,” Manibusan said.

Latte Heights resident Donald Camacho, who also got dose 1 of the Pfizer vaccine, said the process at the clinic is very well coordinated.

The 55-year-old also encourages residents to get vaccinated.

“Get your vaccination because it will help you,” Camacho said.

Jane Flores, who is also a Latte Heights resident, says she feels great.

The Mangilao resident says she got the first shot of the Pfizer vaccine and also encourages the community to get vaccinated.

“In order for us to get through this, we all gotta do this all together. So get your shot and we can move on,” Flores said.

Furthermore, Yigo resident Althea Engman says she is kind of scared but glad that she got her shot.

The 18-year-old says the community needs to take extra safety precautions especially with summer and spring break around the corner.

“I know people want to go out everywhere else and take risks. If you’re gonna take a risk, just make sure you take precautions and stay safe,” Engman said.

To date, a total of 71,310 people on Guam have been vaccinated against the coronavirus.