State ramps up COVID-19 vaccination sites, but shortages persist

Far more demand than supply

Dr. Christ on vaccine distribution

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - In its weekly coronavirus media briefing, Dr. Cara Christ, the state health director, told reporters the state is disappointed it will not see an immediate increase in the number of doses coming to Arizona.

The CDC initially said it would send all of its reserve doses to the states, but then admitted it didn’t have a reserve.

The Trump Administration earlier said it would hold back half of its available doses for the needed second shot to make the vaccine effective.

Less than 24 hours later it became apparent there was no reserve. The CDC had already depleted its supply.

“Luckily it doesn’t impact our current plans, but it is disappointing because we would have loved to ramp up and add additional appointments,” Dr. Christ said.

But during the briefing, there was a bit of good news.

The number of hospitalizations has remained steady for the past few days, but it’s still too early to call it a trend. The positivity rate has seen the same leveling off, according to Dr. Christ.

“We’re seeing a couple of counties that are starting to see a downward trend in cases,” she said. “All of that is promising, but it’s very hard to predict if that’s the path that is going to happen, or if it’s going to go back up.”

The state opened its second mass immunization site this week in Maricopa County, which now has two sites, including a 24/7 site in Glendale.

Pima County will open two sites next week at the Tucson Convention Center and at the Kino Sports Park.

While Pima County said it can ramp up to do 16,000 vaccines a day, it’s allotment from the state is only 12,000 doses a week.

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