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Valley residents experiencing issues scheduling second COVID-19 vaccine appointments

Vaccination site
Posted at 2:40 PM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-25 19:21:58-05

PHOENIX — Opening State Farm Stadium for vaccinations may be leaving some who got first doses at county POD sites out of luck for a second appointment.

A few 100,000 Arizonans have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. But more and more people around the Valley are coming forward to voice their frustration as they wait for their second dose.

“You just feel like it’s Groundhog Day every time you call somewhere or log on,” said Liz Scott.

Scott says she was thrilled when she could snag two appointments for her parents at State Farm Stadium. They are both over the age of 75 and suffering from underlying health issues.

“I know this sounds dramatic, but this is a life-or-death situation. They have compromised immune systems, I haven’t seen my parents or spent time with them. It’s going to be a year,” said Scott.

After receiving their first dose, Scott says they were told to expect an email containing a link that would allow them to schedule the second shot. They got it yesterday, but there was only one problem.

“There is nothing, I have looked every day, at every location and there’s not an appointment available,” said Scott.

Second doses are also an issue at vaccination POD sites run by Maricopa County.

Last week, the county tweeted they would not be scheduling any more second dose appointments until they received more vaccines. This leaves many wondering when that would be.

“You start to lose confidence in the process,” said Scott.

It’s a process that’s been filled with miscommunication. In January, the state announced it would be opening State Farm Stadium to speed up vaccinations.

“We are taking a portion of the doses from Maricopa Counties in order to be able to do that,” said State Health Direct Dr. Cara Christ last Friday.

However, according to an email from county health leaders, the state never consulted them before the state taking its supply. The email goes on to say:

“We were not aware how much it would impact our ability to vaccinate those prioritized, according to CDC guidelines. Any reduction in the amount of vaccine we receive affects our ability to provide appointments, whether those are second dose appointments or first dose appointment.”

Former State Health Director Will Humble weighed in.

“When there’s a lack of communication that breaks down trust, it really impairs the entire response,” said Humble.

The state is expected to get around 169,000 additional doses this week.

How many of those actually turn into second appointments remains to be seen.

“Everybody gets a COVID birthday, everybody gets a COVID anniversary, a COVID mother's day and father's day now, and many people, unfortunately, have had COVID funerals, I just don’t want one of those,” said Scott.

Here's the problem for a lot of those people waiting on second dose appointments to open up.

From now on, if you get the shot at State Farm, volunteers actually schedule you for a second dose appointment before you leave. The new method has a lot of people around the Valley waiting on second dose emails, wondering if they’re being forgotten.

The state told ABC15 there are second appointments still available online and to keep trying.