Arizona-run sites in the Phoenix area, Tucson, Yuma, and Flagstaff administered more than 6,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses Thursday and saw their greatest demand in the late afternoon as parents brought their kids ages 12 to 15 to be vaccinated.
And that’s just part of the demand across our state as that age group became eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine. Many pharmacies and other providers offer Pfizer as well. And the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) partnered with the Equality Health and HeroZona foundations at a pop-up clinic that vaccinated 650 children and adults in the Roosevelt School District serving south Phoenix.
Arizona is home to nearly 400,000 children ages 12 to 15. To date, 5,466,046 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to 3,098,785 individuals, with 2,572,917 now fully vaccinated.
ADHS Director Dr. Cara Christ spent much of the day administering vaccines at the Gila River Arena state site and at the C.O. Greenfield School event held in the late afternoon and extended into the evening to meet demand.
“At each site, I saw how relieved parents are to protect their kids from COVID-19 ‒ and to continue moving life back toward normal,” Dr. Christ said. “I’m one of those relieved parents. My 13-year-old son received his vaccine yesterday and soon will have strong protection against COVID-19 and the possibility of infecting others.”
Between state sites and local providers, there are many places open before and after school and through the weekend to get the vaccine for children ages 12 to 15. ADHS offers a vaccine finder at azdhs.gov/FindVaccine, which allows users to search specifically for the Pfizer vaccine.
All states sites offer the Pfizer vaccine, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended this week for everyone age 12 and up. Appointments are available and the best way to reduce the required time for a visit, but walk-ins are welcome. Hours of operation for each are posted at azdhs.gov/FindVaccine.
ADHS is coordinating with rural counties that until now have received only the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines so 12- to 15-year-olds can get vaccinated.
A parent or guardian must accompany the child and sign a consent form in person that includes an attestation that the child is at least 12 years old. No identification is required for the child. Place of permanent residence isn’t a factor in whether someone can be vaccinated at a state site.
Appointments for state sites and some others are available at podvaccine.azdhs.gov or by calling 844-542-8201 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to be connected with someone who can assist in English or Spanish. Appointments aren’t required for state-run sites, but they are a way to reduce the length of a visit because registration is taken care of in advance.
There’s more incentive than ever for everyone 12 and older to get vaccinated. On Thursday, the CDC updated its guidance for fully vaccinated people, saying they can resume normal activities indoors and outdoors without masks or distancing in most cases. Those fully vaccinated are still subject to any federal, local, or tribal rules and regulations as well as business and workplace requirements.
“This is a very big step toward returning to our pre-pandemic way of life. And it’s available to everyone who gets one of the safe, effective, free, and widely available vaccines offered at state-run sites, pharmacies, and numerous other locations around the state,” Dr. Christ said. “Let’s all keep working toward community immunity. Roll up your sleeve and get vaccinated against COVID-19.”
To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination, please visit azdhs.gov/COVID19Vaccines.