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Dr. Christ: Arizona’s COVID-19 vaccine supply starting to meet demand

(Facebook photo/Arizona Department of Health Services)

PHOENIX — Even with so many Arizonans now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, appointments at state-run sites are taking longer to fill up.

Appointments for state-run sites are released every Friday for the following week. They usually fill up within a few hours.

But as of Monday morning, there were still appointments available for this week that were not from cancellations at two state-run sites, the University of Arizona and the Yuma Convention Center. By Tuesday afternoon, the site in Yuma still had 3,600 appointments open.

“What I think we’re seeing right now is supply starting to meet demand,” Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ said at a press conference Monday.

This comes two weeks after Arizona opened COVID-19 vaccine appointments at state-run sites to anyone 16 and older, with counties across the state adopting the same eligibility shortly after.

The Arizona Department of Health Services plans to release more public service announcements encouraging people to get vaccinated. Christ said she hopes that’ll help address vaccine hesitancy and help people feel more comfortable about the vaccines.

“But we do anticipate that the demand will start to slow a little bit,” she added.

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

Another site will open at WestWorld of Scottsdale on April 22.

“We will likely continue the large mega-sites for about two to three more months,” Christ said. “It will depend on how much the demand supports us continuing that.”

She added once there isn’t as much demand at the state-run sites, vaccination efforts will shift to pharmacies and community events.

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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