ARIZONA NEWS

Christ says it’s possible to receive COVID vaccine without appointment

Jan 15, 2021, 4:00 PM | Updated: 9:21 pm
(AP Photo/Terry Tang)...
(AP Photo/Terry Tang)

(AP Photo/Terry Tang)

PHOENIX — Arizona’s top health official said Friday people who don’t have an appointment to get the coronavirus vaccine could still have ways of ending up with the shot.

Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ said in a press conference that the clinical team at the vaccination site are tasked with making the decision to vaccinate somebody who is in the car with a person who does have an appointment.

Aspects that go into that decision include the number of no shows on a given day and if the person in the vehicle is a caretaker of the individual scheduled for the shot, saying that person could still put others at risk.

People in the car could also receive the shot if they had an appointment but were not scheduled for that day as long as there is enough staff and the vaccine is available.

This, Christ said, allows people to only go to the vaccination site twice instead of four times.

“They are making those clinical judgments on a case by case basis to make sure that we are getting as many vaccines, that none are being wasted and that we are trying to be as customer service-friendly as possible,” Christ said.

Those in the priority phase 1B or phase 1A are eligible for the coronavirus vaccine at state-run facilities, including State Farm Stadium in Glendale.

This includes people in health care, emergency services, long-term care facility staff and residents, along with education and childcare workers, protective service occupations and adults 75 and older.

The state’s age cutoff will be lowered to 65 on Tuesday, but vaccination sites run by some counties, including Maricopa County, will remain at the current 75 age requirement.

Over 232,000 people have been vaccinated statewide as of the report by AZDHS on Friday, with over 600,000 vaccines ordered.

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Christ says it’s possible to receive COVID vaccine without appointment