PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – Dr. Cara Christ on Wednesday touted the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for health care workers who were among the first to get the shots but declined to take questions at the media event. Instead, she left reporters hanging.

Christ and other health care workers got their second COVID-19 shots during a livestreamed event less than two hours after the state added more than 7,200 new COVID-19 case and 127 deaths to its running totals. Shortly after the media event, Arizona's Family learned that Valleywise had no ICU beds available this morning, The facility said it had 86 COVID-19 patients, 20 of whom are in the ICU.

One-by-one, health care workers shared their experiences with the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, which they got 21 days ago, and their reasons for getting the vaccine. Most of them reported mild side effects, including pain at the injection site, headaches, fatigue, saying those symptoms subsided within 24 hours.

After addressing the media, they rolled up their sleeves for round two.

Christ has been a major proponent of the vaccines since the Food and Drug Administration approved them in late December. She has enthusiastically encouraged everyone to get their vaccine when they can. Christ was the last one to go, stating once again that she believes in the science behind the vaccine.

“Arizona is on its way to getting vaccine into enough arms that we can bring back normalcy missing from our lives for these many months,” she said after getting her second shot.

No questions

Conspicuously absent from Wednesday morning’s media event was a question-and-answer session. Reporters tried to ask questions when Christ was finished with her remarks, but she left the room with a wave, leaving those questions handing. 

She mentioned that some of those who got their second shots would be available for distanced interviews. That list did not include her. A spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Health Services said she will answer questions on Friday from reporters instead. 

Arizona’s ambitious vaccine rollout plan has gone more slowly than hoped. As of Wednesday morning, ADHS said nearly 120,000 doses of the vaccine had been administered with the caveat that shots given in the past 24 hours might not be included in the tally.

Maricopa County releases new details about COVID-19 vaccine distribution delays

Arizona was projected to receive about 384,350 doses, some of which are second doses. But that still leaves tens of thousands of doses just sitting their and their shelf lives are limited. This is particularly true of the Pfizer vaccine, which is what was approved and distributed first.

More than 213,000 COVID-19 vaccines sitting unused in Arizona

Just hours before the ASHS event, Arizona's family learned that Maricopa County is opening vaccination appointment to Phase 1B starting Monday. Gila and Pinal counties are already into Phase 1B, which includes teachers, child care works, law enforcement, and people 75 and older.

Phase 1B of COVID vaccine rollout starts Monday in Maricopa County
 

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