Arizona turns down offer for federally run COVID-19 vaccine site, wants more doses instead

This week FEMA increased support to states, tribes, territories and other partners in the effort to get more Americans vaccinated against COVID-19. We are determining where staff support, supplies and other resource gaps are — and then working to fill them. / FEMA photo

By Alison Steinbach | Arizona Republic

Arizona has turned down an offer from the federal government for a federally run COVID-19 vaccine site in the state. 

The state wants more doses to expand capacity at existing state-run sites and to add appointments at pharmacies and in communities, but it does not need the new federal site, Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said during a Friday news briefing. 

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“We just need the additional vaccine,” Christ said. “We’ve got the sites, they are fully staffed, they are efficient, people can get in and out of our sites in 30 minutes, and so what we were asking for was just the additional vaccine so that we can operate our sites at the capacity that we had planned.”

The state has been applying for additional COVID-19 vaccine doses from the federal government since mid-January, saying its sites are not at capacity and can administer more doses, but the request repeatedly has been denied. 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency last week offered to stand up a vaccine site or two in Arizona instead, the only way they could bring Arizona more doses, Christ said.

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