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More than half million doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered in Arizona

The state is keeping a close eye on hundreds of vaccine providers to make sure they’re giving...
The state is keeping a close eye on hundreds of vaccine providers to make sure they’re giving them out as fast as possible.(WBRC)
Updated: Jan. 27, 2021 at 12:24 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - More than a half million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to Arizonans as of Wednesday morning, six weeks after the first doses of the life-saving vaccine became available.

“We’ve hit a major milestone in our battle against COVID-19,” said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. “We’ve come a long way since mid-December, but we have a long road ahead of us. Our goal is to get the vaccine to every Arizonan who wants it as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

The pace of distribution has dramatically increased since Jan. 11, when the state-run COVID-19 vaccination site at State Farm Stadium began operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Another state-run site at Phoenix Municipal Stadium is scheduled to open on Monday, Feb. 1.

“The State Farm Stadium vaccination site is an amazing success,” Dr. Christ said. “It is a best-practice model that’s attracted the attention not just of other states but the Federal Emergency Management Agency. With additional vaccine, we can add more appointments and get more vaccine into the arms of prioritized Arizonans.”

84,360 have been administered at the State Farm Stadium site, operated by ADHS and partners. The Phoenix Municipal Stadium site opening Monday has its capacity limited to around 500 doses a day to start because of the limited vaccine supply coming from the federal government.

On Tuesday, Governor Doug Ducey issued an advisory to accelerate the statewide distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine and move doses of the vaccine to where they can be rapidly administered to Arizonans. It allows the state to reallocate vaccination doses to where they will be most rapidly distributed and requires healthcare providers and local health agencies that administer the COVID-19 vaccine to report data to ADHS indicating the pace of vaccination distribution.

According to Bloomberg’s COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker, which as of this morning had yet to reflect the state’s total through Tuesday, Arizona has administered more doses than 36 other states.

ADHS last week requested an ongoing 300,000 additional doses weekly from the federal government. However, the request was denied, and the state, counties and tribal governments were only able to order 169,000 doses for this week.

The State Farm Stadium vaccination site is operated by ADHS and partners including the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, Arizona Cardinals, Arizona State University, Walgreens, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, the Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation, American Medical Response (AMR), and the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

All appointments at the two state-run sites are booked through February, though appointments have been reserved for those vaccinated at a state-run site to receive second doses.

Groups prioritized to date include: frontline healthcare workers, emergency services workers, and residents and staff at long-term care facilities (in Phase 1A); and protective services workers; K-12, university, and community college educators; childcare workers; and adults 65 and older (prioritized Phase 1B). Each county’s current vaccine phase is listed on the ADHS website, which is updated daily.

In addition to the state-run sites, Governor Doug Ducey and ADHS have announced more ways that Arizona is dramatically expanding vaccine site capacity:

  • Arizona has activated the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Retail Pharmacy Program, which will add up to 100 pharmacy stores providing vaccine over the next few weeks. When the program is fully activated, more than 800 pharmacies will have COVID-19 vaccine available in Arizona. Locations can be found by visiting azdhs.gov/findvaccine.
  • There are over 400 vaccination sites statewide that have received vaccine, including 45 Community Health Centers.
  • County health departments across the state are also working to expand appointment availability at their sites.

As Arizona receives more vaccine doses and adds more appointments, those in groups prioritized for vaccination can register for appointments at State Farm Stadium, Phoenix Municipal Stadium, and multiple other vaccination sites at podvaccine.azdhs.gov. Information about all vaccination sites across Arizona can be found at azhealth.gov/findvaccine. Those without computer access or needing extra help registering can call 1-844-542-8201 to be connected with someone who can assist. Note: You can use the patient portal at podvaccine.azdhs.gov to make an appointment for a relative in a prioritized group.

To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination, please visit azdhs.gov/COVID19Vaccines.

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