Christ says Arizona declined FEMA offers for vaccination site

Mar 19, 2021, 4:30 PM | Updated: 4:46 pm
Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ works at the state-run COVID-19 vacc...
Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ works at the state-run COVID-19 vaccination site at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on Jan. 11, 2021. (Facebook Photo/Arizona Department of Health Services)
(Facebook Photo/Arizona Department of Health Services)

PHOENIX — Arizona’s top public health leader said Friday the state has declined offers from federal officials to open FEMA-led vaccination sites.

Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said the state preferred to control vaccine distribution and sites.

Sites were offered in Maricopa and Pima counties, according to Christ.

“As we started getting more information and talking with some of our counterparts, those states with federal sites including California have not fared as well,” Christ said. “We have been doing a great job at our sites and they still needed us to staff it and provide the resources for it.”

Christ added that the only way for the federal government to provide additional vaccine in Arizona is to open a FEMA-led site.

That would require the state to staff the site but not have oversight, which Christ said wasn’t a good combination for Arizona.

“We didn’t have the medical oversight or managerial oversight of these sites,” Christ said.

Christ said the state is still communicating with FEMA about possible sites for the future.

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Christ says Arizona declined FEMA offers for vaccination site