Q&AZ: What You Need To Know About Getting The Coronavirus Vaccine In Arizona
KJZZ has been getting a lot of questions via the Q&AZ project about how to access COVID-19 vaccines in Arizona. Here's what we know.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story will be updated regularly as new information becomes available.
Who is eligible to get a vaccine in Arizona right now?
All Arizona state and county health departments have now made all adults eligible for the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is available to Arizonans 12 or older. Some pharmacies, clinics, or pop-up sites may still be limiting who can register for vaccine appointments based on age or occupation.
Where can I make an appointment for a vaccine?
There are hundreds of locations administering COVID-19 vaccines in Arizona and many sites have their own online appointment systems. You can find a list of vaccine sites statewide at azdhs.gov. Appointment information is also available by phone at 2-1-1 or 1-844-542-8201.
The mass vaccination sites run by the Arizona Department of Health Services including Gila River Arena, Desert Financial Arena, WestWorld of Scottsdale, and the University of Arizona are now accepting walk-ins. The department still recommends making an appointment in advance to reduce wait times. Appointments are available at podvaccine.azdhs.gov or 1-844-542-8201.
Many Albertson’s, CVS, Costco, Fry's, Safeway, Walgreens and Walmart pharmacies are offering vaccines. Social media groups around the country are helping people find vaccine appointments. The website VaccineHunter.org lists social media resources for finding vaccines. The websites VaccineSpotter.org or VaccineFinder.com can also help you check which pharmacies near you have vaccines available. Many pharmacy chains make new appointment slots available online each morning.
- CVS appointments can be booked at cvs.com
- Costco appointments can be booked at book-costcopharmacy.appointment-plus.com
- Safeway and Albertson's appointments can be booked at mhealthcheckin.com
- Fry's appointments can be booked at frysfood.com
- Walmart appointments can be booked at walmart.com
- Walgreens appointments can be booked at walgreens.com
You can find more Maricopa County vaccine sites at maricopa.gov.
Additional locations are being added statewide as more vaccines become available.
How can I find an appointment for a specific type of vaccine?
Three vaccines are currently approved for use in the U.S. Each has been proven to be safe and effective in preventing severe illness or death from COVID-19. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for use for adults 18 and older. The Pfizer vaccine is approved for anyone 12 or older. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only one dose.
The Arizona Department of Health Services lists vaccine sites statewide at azdhs.gov/findvaccine. Click the arrow on the left side of the map to filter locations by vaccine type.
Maricopa County Public Health also lists vaccine locations at maricopa.gov/5659/COVID-19-Vaccine-Locations. Click the dropdown menu above the map to filter locations by vaccine type.
How old do I have to be to get vaccinated?
Three vaccines are currently approved for use in the U.S. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for use for adults 18 and older. The Pfizer vaccine is approved for anyone 12 or older.
Some pharmacies, clinics, or pop-up sites may still be limiting who can register for appointments based on age or occupation.
How can I get a vaccine appointment if I don’t have internet access or I’m having trouble with appointment websites?
Appointments for state-run vaccine sites can be made by phone by calling 2-1-1 or 1-844-542-8201.
Anyone who needs technical assistance accessing podvaccine.azdhs.gov should call 602-542-1000.
Arizona Department of Health Services director Dr. Cara Christ said someone else can make an appointment online on your behalf if you don’t have internet access.
“You can get them started and just have them pick the appointment,” she said.
How can I make an appointment to get my second dose of the vaccine?
Follow up with the location where you received your first dose. You can also get assistance booking a second appointment at state-run vaccine sites by calling 2-1-1 or 1-844-542-8201.
Those who get their first shot at state-run vaccine sites, including Gila River Arena and Desert Financial Arena, will have the option to schedule their second dose appointment when they show up for their first shot.
Three vaccines are currently approved for use in the U.S. The vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson requires only one dose. The vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna require two doses. Your second dose must be from the same manufacturer as your first dose. Pfizer recommends a second dose after 21 days, Moderna recommends a second dose after 28 days. But Arizona Department of Health Services director, Dr. Cara Christ said timing does not need to be exact and second appointments can be scheduled for later.
"That is still considered a valid dose and you will still get that full protection with that second dose,” Christ said.
Can part-time residents or visitors get the vaccine in Arizona?
Yes, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services, “place of permanent residence does not factor into whether someone can get vaccinated in Arizona.”
How can I volunteer to help at a vaccination site?
Vaccination sites in Arizona are in need of volunteers. Those who volunteer to help may be eligible to receive a vaccine if they have not yet been inoculated.
Recently retired doctors, nurses or other medically qualified volunteers are needed to administer shots.
“[Arizona is] allowing those folks, if they’re four or five years out, to get a temporary license so they can come and provide vaccinations," said task force medical commander, Col. Tom Leeper, with the Arizona National Guard.
Volunteers who don't have medical backgrounds can also help.
“If they would like to do traffic control, provide documentation services, work on an iPad to register and check people in, there are a lot of things that volunteers can do,” Leeper said.
Volunteers can sign up through HandsOn Greater Phoenix. Medical personnel can register with the Arizona Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals. Maricopa County Public Health is also seeking volunteers for its vaccination sites.
How many people have been vaccinated in Arizona? When will we reach herd immunity?
3,085,000 Arizonans have received vaccines and 2,550,867 people have received both doses as of May 13. The state health department regularly updates this data on its website.
Vaccination efforts in Arizona started in mid-December. New daily cases and hospitalizations in the state have declined since peaking in January. But there are about 7 million people in Arizona and former director of Arizona’s health department, Will Humble estimates about 5 million people in the state would need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.
Dr. Marjorie Bessel, chief clinical officer of Banner Health said Feb. 17, “When we have roughly 70% to 80% herd immunity, it’s likely that you’ll see recommendations from public health experts regarding ceasing of current restrictions.”
And Dr. Joe Gerald with the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona wrote in a Feb. 26 report, "while I believe this winter’s outbreak will be Arizona’s largest, a smaller wave is possible this spring. However, a spring wave should it occur will pose a lesser threat as most of those at risk of hospitalization and death will have been vaccinated. For this reason, the short-term outlook remains favorable."
Where can I find additional information about coronavirus vaccines in Arizona?
Have another question about the coronavirus vaccine? Ask us at qaz.kjzz.og.
KJZZ's Austin Fast contributed to this report.