Opinion

Rigler: Arizona has plenty of vaccine for COVID-19 boosters and first doses

Posted 12/6/21

I’m glad to see the ADHS data dashboard showing increased demand lately for COVID-19 booster shots and primary vaccinations.

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Opinion

Rigler: Arizona has plenty of vaccine for COVID-19 boosters and first doses

Posted

I’m glad to see the ADHS data dashboard showing increased demand lately for COVID-19 booster shots and primary vaccinations.

Federal officials and ADHS have advised repeatedly that vaccination is the best way to prepare for uncertainties posed by the omicron variant, not to mention from COVID-19 in general.

While there are news reports saying that some areas are seeing waits of two weeks for booster shot appointments, please keep two things in mind:

  1. There is plenty of vaccine available around Arizona;
  2. Appointments may be available a little farther away or at a provider you haven’t visited before if you face a longer-than-desired wait for one in your neighborhood.

One strategy is using the ADHS Vaccine Finder at azhealth.gov/FindVaccine to locate providers advertising walk-in availability or same-day appointments. I suggest calling or checking online with that provider before heading out, though.

There are also pop-up clinics available, including those organized by partners under contract with ADHS. The One Community Initiative, for example, has a vaccination clinic Saturday morning at Morris K. Udall Elementary School in west Phoenix.

Many county health departments, municipalities, school districts and community organizations have information on their websites and social media accounts about vaccination events. One example is Maricopa County’s Vaccine Events Calendar, which lists 18 vaccination events between today and Saturday alone. Pima, Coconino, Pinal, Gila and Yuma counties are among others with online listings of pop-up clinics.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently strengthened its guidance to recommending booster doses for everyone 18 and older. It applies to those who are at least six months beyond their primary series of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines or at least two months beyond the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine.

I want everyone to have the best protection possible against COVID-19, so please get your booster as soon as possible. If you aren’t vaccinated already, I strongly recommend taking advantage of this safe, free, highly effective and widely available protection against the consistently unpredictable COVID-19.

Editor's note: Jessica Rigler is assistant director overseeing the Division of Public Health Preparedness at the Arizona Department of Health Services. Visit azdhs.gov.

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