Victor Castillo, a physics teacher at Western School of Science and Technology, receives his second dose of vaccine at Phoenix Municipal Stadium on Monday, Feb. 1. (Photo by Alberto Mariani, Cronkite News)
Arizona plans state-run vaccine site in East Valley
Governor Doug Ducey and the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) today announced a state-operated COVID-19 vaccine site in the Phoenix metropolitan area’s East Valley, avoiding the closure of a successful mass vaccination site and further expanding the state’s nationally recognized model for speeding up vaccine administration.
The vaccination site at Chandler-Gilbert Community College will begin operating as a state-run location on Wednesday, March 3.
“We’re committed to making the COVID-19 vaccine accessible to all Arizonans. Keeping this successful vaccination site open and operating is an important step,” said Governor Ducey. “Arizona has called on the federal government to provide our state with more vaccine doses. As more supply becomes available, we’ll be ready to administer the vaccine and protect Arizonans.”
On Thursday, Feb. 18, Maricopa County announced the upcoming closure of the Chandler-Gilbert Community College vaccination site, which has been one of the county’s busiest. Over the last three days, ADHS has worked with partner organizations to develop a plan to keep the location open.
In order to ensure continued vaccination of Arizonans in the East Valley, ADHS will transition to operate the location as a state-run vaccination site. Dignity Health currently manages the site in collaboration with Maricopa County. Dignity Health will close its operations after Feb. 27, and ADHS will reopen it four days later in partnership with the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, Blue Cross Ⓡ Blue Shield Ⓡ of Arizona, and Maricopa County Community College District.
At full capacity, this site will have a similar capacity to State Farm Stadium at 12,000 vaccines per day and can be operated 24/7. Due to the limited amount of vaccine allocated to the state, this site will initially operate from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will continue to provide the Pfizer vaccine and will be available to provide second doses to individuals who received their first at the site. Appointments for first and second doses will open for registration at 9 a.m. Monday, March 1.
“A region with well more than half of our state’s population will now have three state-run vaccination sites that position Arizona to vaccinate large numbers rapidly as vaccine supplies expand,” said ADHS Director Dr. Cara Christ. “Arizona has proven that the state’s nationally recognized model for these vaccination sites is scalable and transferable to other locations. By combining state resources with the support of partners, we can continue getting more doses into the arms of Arizonans.”
ADHS opened the 24/7 State Farm Stadium site Jan. 11 and opened the site at Arizona State University’s Phoenix Municipal Stadium on Feb. 1. On Feb. 18, ADHS and the University of Arizona marked the conversion of a vaccination site in central Tucson into the first state site serving southern Arizona. Planning is also underway for state-operated sites in western and northern Arizona.
Information about all the vaccination sites across Arizona can be found at azhealth.gov/findvaccine. Those without computer access or needing extra help registering can call 1-844-542-8201 to be connected with an operator who can assist. Note: You can use the patient portal at podvaccine.azdhs.gov to make an appointment for someone else in a prioritized group, such as someone 65 and older.
To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination, visit azdhs.gov/COVID19Vaccines.