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Arizona’s state-run COVID-19 vaccine sites pass 1 million-dose mark

(Arizona Department of Health Services Photo)

PHOENIX – Arizona’s state-run mass COVID-19 vaccination sites have crossed the milestone of giving 1 million shots, authorities said Monday.

The state sites’ total of 1,053,035 doses represents 28% of the 3,708,660 doses administered in Arizona, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services COVID-19 dashboard.

“Arizona is working around the clock to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to all,” Gov. Doug Ducey said in a press release.

“Today we are reaching another major milestone — administering the 1 millionth dose at state-run vaccination sites. We are thankful to the thousands of staff and volunteers who have been working tirelessly to get Arizonans vaccinated.”

The mark comes as the state’s vaccine operations make a series of changes to keep the shots coming as temperatures rise.

The state currently runs five sites, three in metro Phoenix – State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Phoenix Municipal Stadium and Dexcom in near Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in the East Valley — and one each in Tucson and Yuma.

“The staff and volunteers at state vaccination sites in the Phoenix area, Tucson and Yuma continue to do a tremendous job of getting these safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines into the community,” ADHS Director Dr. Cara Christ said in the release.

“As more vaccine becomes available, we need even more Arizonans to roll up their sleeves at state sites and other venues.”

The Mesa location opened Monday as the first state-run indoor drive-thru site. It replaced the Chandler-Gilbert Community College site that closed over the weekend.

The State Farm Stadium parking lot site, which had been operating 24/7 since opening Jan. 11, shifted to overnight hours this week, with appointments from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m.

On April 23, State Farm Stadium will cease operations and nearby Gila River Arena will debut as an indoor site.

Gila River Arena will be run from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily on most days. It will close early when events such as Arizona Coyotes hockey games are scheduled.

Christ told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Monday morning that the state is looking into possibly opening three more mass vaccinations sites, two indoor locations in metro Phoenix and one in Coconino County, which would be the first in northern Arizona.

Later Monday, ADHS revealed the plans for one of them, an indoor walk-in site that will debut April 22 at WestWorld of Scottsdale.

During a press conference Monday at the launch of the Mesa site, Christ said the Phoenix Municipal Stadium parking lot operation would close soon, although the timetable was not yet finalized.

A week’s worth of appointments for the state-run sites are released every Friday at 11 a.m. Appointments can be booked online at https://podvaccine.azdhs.gov/ or by calling 844-542-8201.

For other Valley availability, the Maricopa County Public Health website has an online vaccine finder that shows pharmacies, government-run sites, health clinics and pop-up distribution events along with links to the applicable registration pages.

Additional spots can open at any time through any provider because of cancellations and additional deliveries, so vaccine seekers should continue checking any or all of the registration options regularly.

Although appointments are required, all adults are eligible anywhere in the state. The minimum age is 16 for the Pfizer vaccine and 18 for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots.

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For Arizona vaccine information, visit azdhs.gov/findvaccine.

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

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