State-run vaccination sites, which have administered 1.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to nearly 900,000 individuals, will be phased out over the coming weeks as Arizona’s focus turns to increasing the number of neighborhood options, including pharmacies, doctors’ offices, and pop-up clinics.
“Starting with our 24/7 operation at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, these sites established a national model for getting limited doses of vaccine into the community rapidly and efficiently,” said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS). “We’re in a much different position today than we were early in the year, with enough vaccine available throughout Arizona for virtually anyone to get vaccinated when they want close to home.”
State-run vaccination sites have already started to phase out with changes to days and times of operations. Saturday, June 5, will be the last day individuals can receive a first dose and have a second dose scheduled at a state-operated vaccine site before the final site at Gila River Arena in Glendale officially closes Monday, June 28. After June 5, first doses will still be administered, but patients will be given information on alternate locations to receive second doses of Pfizer vaccine, which is administered at these sites.
Individuals who would like to receive both vaccine doses at a state-operated site should visit on or before Saturday, June 5. Hours and days of operation for each of the sites are available at azhealth.gov/FindVaccine.
The Glendale mass-vaccination operation, which moved from the State Farm Stadium parking lot into nearby Gila River Arena as the temperatures warmed, was open 24/7 for weeks after its Jan. 11 launch and set records, administering 12,495 doses in a single day. It hosted a virtual visit by President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, who praised its efficiency and success.
“You’re saving people’s lives, short-term and long-term,” the president told Dr. Christ.
After State Farm Stadium, state-run sites launched at: Arizona State University’s Phoenix Municipal Stadium (now indoors at ASU’s Desert Financial Arena); Chandler-Gilbert Community College (now an indoor drive-thru at Dexcom’s regional distribution center in east Mesa); and the WestWorld exhibition center in Scottsdale. Existing sites transitioned to state operations at the University of Arizona in Tucson, the Yuma Civic Center, and Northern Arizona University.
Today, hundreds of locations throughout Arizona offer vaccine, including more than 300 offering the Pfizer vaccine available to those age 12 and older. Other vaccines are available to those 18 and older. The ADHS Vaccine Finder at azdhs.gov/FindVaccine lists locations near you and allows you to filter by locations offering specific vaccines.
“Arizona is off to a great start at protecting everyone from COVID-19, and state-run vaccination sites have been a big part of that success,” Dr. Christ said. “In many ways, the hard work is now underway for ADHS and our local partners. Our focus is shifting to connecting people to the information they need before getting vaccinated and to the growing number of providers offering vaccine in neighborhoods around Arizona, including pop-up clinics.”
At the height of demand, state-run sites administered nearly 168,000 doses in a single week. Now, even with access to the Pfizer vaccine expanded to children ages 12 to 15, doses administered at state-run sites decreased to 13,000-50,000 per week during the month of May, highlighting the need to shift to community-based options. State-operated vaccination sites can be stood up in just a few days in case there is a sudden, significant increase in demand for the vaccine in the coming months.
To date, 5,927,868 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to 3,345,912 individuals, including 2,831,240 who are fully vaccinated. About 47% of Arizona’s total population has received at least one dose of vaccine, and 39% of the population has been fully vaccinated.
In addition to efforts by county health departments and community groups, ADHS is advancing targeted outreach in underserved areas of Phoenix, Mesa, and Yuma County. This has included telephone town halls in English and Spanish, targeted social media posts in English and Spanish, and door-to-door outreach. At an event held Saturday, May 22, at Grant Park near downtown Phoenix, ADHS and partners launched a door-to-door campaign to explain the benefits of vaccination and help direct residents to nearby providers.
The Equality Health Foundation, one of 13 providers under state contract to operate pop-up clinics, is partnering with the HeroZona Foundation and ADHS to offer vaccination events in underserved areas of Phoenix, including a second-dose clinic for Roosevelt School District students and parents being held this afternoon at C.O. Greenfield School in south Phoenix. Information on these and other clinics offered through the One Community Initiative is available at equalityhealthfoundation.org/one or by calling 888.587.3647.
To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination, please visit azdhs.gov/COVID19Vaccines.