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Christ hopes walk-in option increases Arizona’s vaccination numbers

(AP Photo/John Locher)

PHOENIX – With demand for first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine dropping in Arizona, public health officials hope allowing walk-in vaccinations at the state-run sites will encourage more participation.

“One of the things we wanted to do was to remove the barriers [to getting vaccinated],” Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department Health Services, said Wednesday on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.

“We know sometimes making an appointment for a later time is not as easy as … just driving by and thinking, ‘I want to get a vaccine, I’m going to stop by.’ We can accommodate that now.”

State public health officials said Tuesday that appointments for inoculation would no longer be required at its seven mass-vaccinations sites.

The department’s dashboard Wednesday morning showed that 4,926,816 vaccine doses have been administered in the state, with 2,893,584 people (40.3% of the state’s population) having received at least one shot and 2,186,715 people fully vaccinated.

“We’re still doing 10,000-20,000 vaccines a day combined at our state sites,” Christ said. “A lot of those are second doses.”

The department foresees shutting down the large-scale sites in the next several weeks as the vaccine becomes more available to pharmacies, doctor’s offices and at pop-up community events.

She added anyone who received a first dose at a state-run point of dispensing that closes, they will be accommodated elsewhere.

All adults across Arizona are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines, with the minimum age at 16 for the Pfizer shot and 18 for other approved versions.

Appointments can still be booked online a htttps://podvaccine.azdhs.gov/ or by calling 844-542-8201.

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

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

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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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