PHOENIX — As news came from Maricopa County Health officials announcing plans to start vaccinations for Phase 1B prioritized individuals, officials have laid out how to schedule your appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Vaccination scheduling for Maricopa County's Phase 1B opened on Monday, Jan. 11. However, early Monday morning, the site was already overwhelmed with users and experiencing difficulties.
⚠️ The COVID-19 vaccine page is overwhelmed with people. Please do not try to access the site until after 6:40am.— Public Health (@Maricopahealth) January 11, 2021
Eligible populations included in Phase 1B are:
- K-12 school staff and childcare workers
- Law Enforcement/Protective Services*
- Adults age 75 and older
According to their website, those in Phase 1B must have an appointment to get vaccinated and no walk-ins will be allowed.
HOW TO SCHEDULE
To schedule your appointment on the Maricopa County Health Department prescreening website starting January 11, click here.
If you are having difficulty scheduling on the website or if you need further help, you can contact the ADHS COVID-19 hotline (1-844-542-8201) or call Arizona 211 to be routed to someone who can help book an appointment.
The prescreening website states priority will be given to those who meet certain requirements and participants will be notified when the vaccine is available, according to the website as of January 7.
County health officials ask Phase 1B prioritized individuals to provide the following details on the day of their appointment:
- Appointment confirmation
- A form of ID confirming your Phase 1B employment, such as a work ID or paystub, or an ID that shows your age if you are 75 or older.
The county health website also indicated that those in law enforcement/protective services or who work in education should check with their employers before making an appointment with the county health prescreening website. Employers may have more information on other vaccine distribution plans based on an individual's employment, the website read.
With limited vaccine availability, health officials said it is their highest priority to ensure every eligible Maricopa County resident will have access to receive their vaccines.
According to their website, adults who live in communal settings and other essential workers will be prioritized for vaccination in Phase 1B after the groups listed above.
Maricopa County said in a press conference on Wednesday that those who will be eligible in 1B will complete a simplified registration process that will be posted to the website on Monday for an appointment and then they will need something to show proof of their age or employment.
Sunenshine said as the county receives more Moderna vaccines, they will allocate to primary care providers, “Right now we want to make sure we get it to providers that can get it to as many people as possible like federally qualified healthcare centers and pharmacies.”
Arizona State Director for AARP Dana Kennedy says it's a logistical nightmare for planning vaccines for those over 75.
Kennedy said the county has reached out to her for help, "we want to make sure this is the top priority and that they think about how they can get this population sooner than later, and make it as easy and safe as possible."
AARP plans to help reach out to its members with more information with a ROBOcall and post more information on their website that the general public can view and information on the vaccines.
Kennedy said they might have volunteers, and there will be other organizations to help senior citizens who don't have family or don't know how to navigate the website.
Maricopa County telling us on Thursday that those eligible in 1B should not try and register until the website goes live on Monday, “Currently the systems book people both for the same day, if appointments are available that day, or in advance,” a spokesperson wrote.
Along with advocates like Kennedy working to get information to those over 75, the county says there will be a phone number.
“Public Health is also working with organizations connected to the estimated 283,000 people over the age of 75 to make sure they receive information at the appropriate time,” a statement read.
ABC15 asked when can we expect to see more locations than what the county has open for the vaccines.
“As operations ramp up to support Phase 1B vaccination efforts, we anticipate more options for vaccination outside of POD sites will be available to prioritized groups soon. This may include vaccinations at pharmacies for those age 75 and older and employer-based vaccination events through private vendors. Public Health is working closely with state and local partners to facilitate agreements that will allow vaccine to be allocated for these types of distribution efforts. More information will be released as it becomes available,” said Maricopa County officials in an email response.
According to the county’s spokesperson, more appointments will become available when:
- More vaccine doses are available
- Other POD sites complete their second-dose appointments so that additional appointments can be opened to Phase 1B individuals