State-Run Vaccine Sites Are Reducing Hours Of Operation
The state health department is cutting the hours of operation at its mass vaccination sites. There are now more than 1,600 places to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Arizona and Department of Health Services director, Dr. Cara Christ, said big state-run sites no longer have enough demand to run every day.
Arizona attracted national attention in January when it opened one of the country’s first mass vaccination sites at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, which operated around the clock until moving to Gila River Arena in April. The health department now runs seven big vaccine sites in the Phoenix area, Tucson, Flagstaff and Yuma. In April, the state PODs were giving upwards of 24,000 shots a day. Recently, the seven sites have been administering only about 2,000 doses daily. Christ said Friday that it’s time to change strategies.
“Our state POD sites were one part of the strategy. That’s calling those who are willing to come to you to get vaccinated, which people were willing to do when there was less supply and a huge demand for it,” Christ said. "We do know now though we have to make it more convenient."
Gila River Arena in Glendale will continue to be open daily. WestWorld of Scottsdale will run Mondays through Saturdays. Desert Financial Arena in Tempe and Dexcom in Mesa will run Wednesdays through Saturdays.
“What we would recommend if you are planning on walking into a state vaccination site is please check the hours of operation at those sites to make sure that they are open," Christ said.
Christ said the sites will eventually be phased out and the health department will focus more on community vaccine events.