PHOENIX – Arizona health officials began registering people on Tuesday, Jan.19 for news COVID-19[female[feminine vaccine appointments in February and that means there was an overwhelming demand once the time slots opened.
“What we want everyone to know, we know the demand is going to be high, we are going to open tens of thousands of appointments today,” said Arizona Department of Health Services Director , Dr. Cara Christ.
At 9 a.m., demand for new vaccine appointments in February was high. The state has opened up its online schedules to a new age group, people 65 and over, as well as other eligible groups like teachers, law enforcement, and people 75 and over who had not yet made an appointment.
Many have come across a website that took a long time to display open dates because so many people were looking for the same thing. Arizona Department of Health Services Twitter account tried to keep people updated throughout the day.
FOX 10 spoke with Valley man David Kofchock, who confirmed his date until he received an “internal server error” message.
The new Phoenix Municipal Stadium vaccination site was full by 1 p.m. More than 87,000 appointments had been made at the 24-hour site at State Farm Stadium by early afternoon.
Known as “priority phase 1B” for COVID-19 vaccination in Arizona, people aged 75 and over have difficulty making appointments and finding sites close enough to their homes.
Now that the vaccine has been made available to a new group, the current challenge is the commute to a vaccination location and the lack of appointments.
“It’s just ridiculous that there is nowhere in the East Valley where we can get the vaccine,” says Phyllis Manrod, 80. She and her 84-year-old husband, Richard Manrod, live in Chandler.
They are running out of patience trying to navigate online between the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Maricopa County Department of Health for nearby COVID-19 vaccine appointments.
“And when we select a location, it says there are no appointments available,” says Phyllis. They are supposed to have priority in phase 1B since they are over 75 years old.
The closest pharmacy vaccination site to the Manrods is in Mesa. But still, no chance of finding a date there.
The county says its current vaccine supply has been administered to eligible groups or allocated to partners for distribution.
The couple are expected to choose State Farm Stadium in Glendale or Phoenix Municipal Stadium, which could take hours. The hours won’t work for the couple as their medications impact how long they can be away from home.
They have not seen their families in person since the pandemic began to mitigate the risk of infection. “I have to go out and get the mail after 10:30 p.m. for all the packages we have because we have people going through here without a mask,” said Richard.