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What you should know about snagging Arizona COVID vaccine spot Friday

A state-run drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination site opened April 5, 2021, inside the Dexcom distribution center near Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. (KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino)

PHOENIX – Next week’s batch of appointments for COVID-19 vaccines at Arizona’s state-run sites will be made available at 11 a.m. Friday, as they are every week at the same time.

The spots can be booked online at https://podvaccine.azdhs.gov/ or by calling 844-542-8201.

State officials didn’t reveal how many shots will be up for grabs at its sites, which use the two-dose Pfizer vaccine. However, the University of Arizona announced that its state-run Tucson site will schedule 8,900 appointments for first doses next week.

Although anybody in Arizona age 16 and older is eligible for a shot from providers using Pfizer vaccines (it’s 18 and older for the Moderna and Johhnson & Johnson versions), the required appointments are becoming easier to find as supplies and the number of people already inoculated rise.

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

As of Friday morning, nearly 4 million vaccine doses had been administered in Arizona, with state-run sites giving 28% of the shots, according to the ADHS COVID-19 dashboard.

The state is mounting a public service announcement campaign encouraging people to get vaccinated. Christ said she hopes that will help alleviate the issue of vaccine hesitancy.

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

Meanwhile, the state continues adjusting its vaccine disbursal program to account for rising temperatures.

The state-run drive-thru site in the parking lot of Glendale’s State Farm Stadium, which transitioned from 24/7 service to overnight shifts (5 p.m.-9 a.m.) this week, is heading into its final two weeks of operations. It will be replaced by a walk-up site inside nearby Gila River Arena on April 23.

By then, there won’t be any state-run outdoor mass vaccination sites remaining in metro Phoenix.

The Chandler-Gilbert Community College parking lot operation closed last week and was replaced Monday by the state’s first drive-thru indoor site, located in Mesa at the Dexcom distribution center near Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

On Thursday, the state announced that its Phoenix Municipal Stadium parking lot operations will cease this weekend and be replaced Monday by a site inside Arizona State University’s Desert Financial Arena, about 3 miles away in Tempe.

The state also announced this week that it was opening an indoor walk-up site at WestWorld of Scottsdale on April 22.

If no other changes are made, the University of Arizona will be the only remaining state-run site with outdoor service, although the state has a heat plan to potentially move it indoors next month. The state’s second site outside the Phoenix area launched March 29 inside the Yuma Civic Center.

On Friday afternoon, the officials announced that the first state-run site in Northern Arizona will open April 19 at the University Union Fieldhouse at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

For information about statewide vaccine availability, the ADHS website has a vaccine-finder page showing locations and registration information.

For details about metro Phoenix availability, Maricopa County Public Health has a locator page that lists pharmacies, government-run sites, health clinics and pop-up distribution events.

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.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

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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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