PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Snowbirds spend winters in Arizona for the nice weather and while they are here, some are getting vaccinated too. However, some Arizonans in the state year-round say they are frustrated winter visitors are getting a spot in line before them.
Debby Longley said she is still fighting to get her 77-year-old husband the vaccine but appointments are all booked up. She said snowbirds getting their shots in Arizona are partly to blame.
"It still should be Arizonans come first," said Longley.
Just this week, Gov. Doug Ducey said snowbirds need to be vaccinated too. Both the Arizona Department of Health Services and Maricopa County Department of Public Health are welcoming winter visitors to get their shots in Arizona if they are eligible. Now, Ducey is asking the Biden administration for an additional 300,000 vaccine doses for winter visitors.
"So the vaccines have been distributed by population, yet we have visitors that come here and spend the winter. They may be residents in another state," said Ducey.
A new study suggests that the biggest spreaders of coronavirus in the US are adults aged 20 to 49, but that doesn't mean they should be pushed to the head of the vaccine line, experts say.
Family physician Dr. Andrew Carroll said vaccinating winter visitors is the right move.
"They go to the stores, restaurants and enjoy our venues, just like everyone else. If they are not immunized, not only could they spread the disease to others, but get really sick," said Carroll.