PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) said registration for vaccine appointments for those aged 65 and older has opened at two state-run sites. The registration began on Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 9 a.m.
According to AZDHS, within minutes there was an "extremely heavy demand" for COVID-19 appointments. Despite the heavy demand, as of Tuesday afternoon, there were still 47,000 appointments available at State Farm Stadium.
UPDATE: There are 47k #COVID19 vaccine appointments still available at State Farm Stadium during February, though Feb. 1-2 and now fully booked. 87k appointments have been booked at State Farm Stadium. Phoenix Municipal Stadium appointments are all booked.— AZ Dept of Health (@AZDHS) January 19, 2021
There is extremely heavy demand for the online scheduling system for #COVID19 appointments at the two state vaccination sites. People are getting appointments. Some people who have say they refreshed regularly. Looking beyond Feb. 14 may be most productive approach right now.— AZ Dept of Health (@AZDHS) January 19, 2021
These appointments will be for the month of February at the two state-run vaccination sites, State Farm Stadium in Glendale and the state's new site, Phoenix Municipal Stadium in Phoenix. The appointments do not include Maricopa County managed vaccination sites. AZDHS says the appointments at Phoenix Municipal Stadium are now all booked.
Seniors wrote Arizona’s Family complaining of long wait times when calling the state’s helpline and a complicated process online for those who aren’t computer literate.
AZDHS is opening their new site, Phoenix Municipal Stadium, located near the Phoenix Zoo, on Monday, Feb. 1. This site operates during daylight hours. Registration for appointments for this site opened Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 9 a.m. and were completely booked by 1:30 p.m.
Registration for appointments now includes people age 65 and older, lowering the minimum age requirement from 75. AZDHS says this gives another 750,000 Arizonans the opportunity to be vaccinated in prioritized Phase 1B. AZDHS says while these two state-run sites will vaccinate those 65 and older, Arizonans should check whether their counties have opened vaccination to this group before attempting to register at other sites around the state.
AZDHS says more than 281,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered so far to 243,593 Arizonans, including 32,269 who have received both doses.
Dr. Cara Christ, director of AZDHS, says these appointments will be in high demand because of the additional amount of Arizonans who can now register for the vaccine. Christ says the main issue with vaccine distribution in Arizona is the availability of the vaccine, provided by the federal government.
Some Valley residents who got their first COVID-19 vaccine dose worry they won't be able to schedule their second.
"We anticipate very high demand for these appointments. When they are filled, we will continue working tirelessly to secure more vaccine doses and open up more appointments,” said Christ. "The number of vaccine doses the federal government has provided to Arizona is limited. Our main barrier right now to providing even more capacity is the availability of vaccine nationally. As our State Farm Stadium site has shown, with nearly 35,000 people vaccinated already, we are ready to scale up and vaccinate even more people."
AZDHS says Arizona has activated the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Retail Pharmacy Program which will add up to 100 pharmacy stores providing the vaccine over the next few weeks. When the program is fully activated, more than 800 pharmacies will have COVID-19 vaccines available in Arizona.
To register for a vaccine appointment, go to 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, such as someone 65 and older.
To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination, please visit azdhs.gov/COVID19Vaccines.
If you would like to register to volunteer at one of the vaccine sites, click HERE.