The Arizona Department of Health Services has opened coronavirus vaccinations for age 16 and older at in Maricopa, Pima and Yuma counties.
ADHS announced the move Monday morning. Vaccine registration will be available to anyone regardless of age starting at at 8 a.m. Wednesday, March 24, officials said.
Officials said given the current numbers of vaccinations, it was time to open the process up to younger people.
“Our goal has been and remains to get vaccine into the community as quickly, widely and equitably as possible,” said Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey.
As of Monday morning, Arizona has administered 2,904,159 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to 1,831,456 individuals, including 1,136,413 who are fully vaccinated. As of Monday morning, there were more than 58,000 appointments still available from Friday’s release.
The change advances a hybrid approach that had been based on age and also has had counties vaccinating frontline essential workers. It applies to appointments still available for this week at state sites in Maricopa and Pima counties.
Until this point, vaccines had been available for those age 55 and older as well as certain front-line workers, such as those in health care and first responders.
“We anticipate more and more vaccine reaching Arizona heading into April, making it possible now to expand prioritization,” said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, in a press release. “We have been flexible and nimble throughout, while expanding the availability of state sites to vaccinate large numbers of people rapidly.”
The move comes as federal officials announced last week more than 100 million vaccine doses have been distributed nationwide.
ADHS opens appointments at 11 a.m. each Friday for State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona State University’s Phoenix Municipal Stadium, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, the University of Arizona in central Tucson, and, as of this Friday, Yuma Civic Center in Yuma County.
Sites using the Pfizer vaccine, including those run by the state, can vaccinate those 16 and older. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccines, which are allocated to counties, are approved for those 18 and older.
Information about all 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 someone who can assist. Note: You can use the patient portal at podvaccine.azdhs.gov to make an appointment for a relative.
To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination, please visit azdhs.gov/COVID19Vaccines