TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has announced the state will open the first mass immunization site at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale on a limited basis on Monday January 11, 2020.
It will mark the change in status for vaccination as the state moves from Phase 1-A to Phase 1-B which will include tens of thousands more people eligible for the vaccine.
Pima County is also moving to the second phase and will set up mass vaccination sites beginning next week, January 11, 2021. The county has identified four potential sites, including Kino Park on Ajo Way.
The state is moving to Phase 1-B even though only about 45% of those eligible in the first phase have received their immunization shots.
“We know as more and more people get vaccinated and talk about their experience, people who may not have been comfortable getting vaccinated early on, may opt to get vaccinated later,” according to Dr. Cara Christ, the Arizona State Health Director.
Dr. Christ says there are people in Phase 1-A who have signed up to be vaccinated later in January.
Also, the incoming Biden Administration has announced it will send millions more doses to the states than are being sent now. Under the CDC rules, half the vaccine doses are being withheld because each vaccine requires two shots spaced weeks apart. The half being withheld is insurance they have enough to give both shots.
That’s not a concern for the state at this point.
“I think if we got access to a large number of doses, it would allow us to expand our distribution,” Dr. Christ said. “So if we got large doses, we’d be able to get it ours a lot faster.”
That would be a big boost to rural counties which will rely on more traditional methods for the vaccine.
“So your doctor’s office, your pharmacy, community health centers would be able to get that out more widely,” she said. “So Arizonans who want to get vaccinated could get vaccinated a lot quicker.”