PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Health Services says appointments are still recommended, but not required, at state-run COVID-19 vaccination sites.
ADHS Director Dr. Cara Christ says appointments will still get you seen faster, but anyone is now able to visit during operating hours if that is their preference.
“The appointment numbers clearly suggest that we’ve accommodated a large share of Arizonans who are able to schedule appointments well in advance,” said Christ. “State-run sites continue to vaccinate many thousands every day, and there is now room for those who simply want to walk in at their convenience.”
ADHS also added that a lot of state-run vaccine sites have same-day appointments available online.
Some people are already taking advantage of the walk-in option. "We had about two or three younger people coming in for registration today," says volunteer Stephanie Mueller.
Mueller and Mary Collinge volunteered at Desert Financial Arena on Tuesday and explained what is needed for the process.
"It can be any type of ID. It can be from Canada; it can be from Mexico. We have international students that come here from the Middle East or India, they have passports and they show those, that's okay," says Mueller.
Those younger than 18 years old need a parent to come with them.
State sites aren't just assisting walk-ins with their first dose but, those getting their second dose too.
Some were able to sneak in before their previously scheduled appointment.
"Their second appointment might be tomorrow or Thursday, so we were able to help them since they were here already, - as long it's 21 or over 18 days. So, a couple of people were able to get their vaccines here today instead of going elsewhere in the next couple days," says Collinge.
As of Monday, 60-thousand appointments were available at state-run sites, with about 20-thousand of those at WestWorld in Scottsdale.
Supply is beginning to exceed the demand. "I think it's going to be a huge benefit," says ASU professor Hitendra Chaturvedi regarding the walk-in option.
Chaturvedi says we still need to do more in order to reach herd immunity; including vaccine distribution in hard-to-reach areas and incentives.
"We will have to show some incentive which could be what we are talking about now... if you need to go travel to Europe, you need to be fully vaccinated," says Chaturvedi.
Locations and hours of state-run COVID-19 vaccination sites in the Valley, Tucson, Yuma, and Flagstaff are available online here.
To date, 4,888,954 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Arizona to 2,880,130 individuals, of whom 2,186,715 have been fully vaccinated, according to ADHS.
On Monday, ADHS said nearly 60,000 appointments were still available for the week at all seven of the state-run vaccination sites, including 20,000 appointments at WestWorld of Scottsdale, nearly 5,000 appointments at Gila River Arena, nearly 7,000 appointments at ASU's Desert Financial Arena, and more than 13,000 appointments at the Dexcom drive-thru site in Mesa.