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Sen. Kyrsten Sinema: Arizona needs more COVID-19 vaccines, distributors

(Screenshot of video courtesy of Kyrsten Sinema)

PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is working to get more coronavirus vaccines and distributors across Arizona.

“We need more vaccinations,” the senator told Gaydos & Chad on Tuesday. “… We have to be able to increase the rapidity and the volume at which we’re getting people vaccinated.”

The Democrat is concerned about how difficult the process has been to book an appointment for senior citizens and those who are in phases 1A and 1B.

Sinema says she’s spoken to Arizonans and health care workers who have spent hours on the phone or online attempting to schedule appointments for both their loved ones and senior citizens.

“We’ve heard from health care workers that couldn’t book their appointments for their second shot, county leaders that say they don’t have enough vaccines, so there’s a lot still going on,” Sinema said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, over 702,000 vaccines had been distributed across the state (59% of Arizona’s allotment so far).

“We need more vaccinations from the federal government and more vaccinators and we have to ask all our partners on the ground to step up and expand these efforts — particularly in Maricopa County — so that we can move faster and get more vaccines into the arms of our citizens,” she said.

Sinema says part of the distribution challenge is that not enough was ordered from the vaccine manufacturers early on, which means new orders will take time.

“We have a manufacturing and distribution problem,” she said. “We have to overcome that by thinking creatively of how to help distribute and bottle and get more of the vaccine into vials, get it safely on frozen trucks and get it out around the country.

“And once it arrives, that we’re vaccinating at a much faster rate than we have been here in Arizona.”

Gov. Doug Ducey announced on Tuesday that the state is opening up 21,000 more vaccine appointments at Phoenix Municipal Stadium across a two-week period in February.

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