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If you’re struggling to snag a COVID-19 vaccine in Arizona, try the call center

(Twitter Photo/@uarizona)

PHOENIX – Arizona Health Director Dr. Cara Christ has some advice for COVID-19 vaccine hunters who haven’t been able to snag an appointment online.

Christ told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Tuesday that slots regularly become available when people cancel or reschedule their reservations. However, she said those openings don’t always show up in the department’s online reservation system.

“What we recommend is to call the call center,” she said.

The call center can be reached at 844-542-8201 and offers help in English and Spanish.

“The most reliable thing is at eight o’clock in the morning to call the call center to see if there have been cancellations released,” Christ said.

The next large batch of new appointments could be announced soon, although those are usually snapped up in a few hours or less.

“We are looking at releasing some appointments potentially this week and will hopefully get on a regular cadence for releasing those moving forward,” Christ said.

If you are among the eligible essential workers or age 55 and older, there are plenty of options beyond the four state-run mass vaccination sites.

“We still are getting limited amounts of vaccine, but you will find it in more and more places,” Christ said. “I think as of last Friday we had it in 440 different pharmacies.”

Other options include community health centers and county health department points of dispensing.

“We will be working on getting more community-based vaccination sites and as the vaccine continues to increase, probably in late April, May, you will start to see it in more and more doctors’ offices,” Christ said.

Christ said the state’s age cutoff should drop to 45 before April 1. She also said she expects Arizona to meet President Joe Biden’s goal of extending eligibility to all adults by May 1.

For details about statewide COVID-19 vaccine availability, the ADHS website has a vaccine-finder page with a map of locations and information about registration and eligibility.

In addition, Maricopa County Public Health has a vaccine map that covers metro Phoenix and lists pharmacies, government-run sites, health clinics and pop-up distribution events.

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