Ballad Health’s community vaccination center located at The Mall at Johnson City opened its doors on Monday, with officials hoping the heavily trafficked area will encourage more people to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We’re really entering that phase of easy access,” Ballad Health’s Chief Infection Prevention Officer Jamie Swift said. “There’s multiple places that people can get vaccines, so we wanted one centrally located access (point).”

Swift said those who wanted the shot have likely already received it, so the goal of the new site is to attract people to get vaccinated as they’re going about their daily lives.

The center in the former Designer Shoe Warehouse storefront on the second floor of the mall is open weekdays from 2-7 p.m. The Johnson City site will take the place of the Elizabethton vaccination site, which closed last week.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines at the center are available free of charge to anyone 16 or older. Walk-ins are welcome, though appointments are still available for those who’d prefer to have a scheduled time. People can schedule appointments by calling 833-822-5523 or by visiting ballad health.org.

“We’re hoping for easy access,” Swift said. “A mall is somewhere a lot of people know how to get to, that the people are familiar with, and we hope that as they come, they’ll come by and see us and get that vaccine for sure.”

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