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Arizona no longer requiring appointments at vaccine sites

Arizona no longer requiring appointments at vaccine sites
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Arizona's Department of Health Services announced on Tuesday that the state will no longer require appointments at state-run COVID-19 vaccination centers.

The department said that the decision was made based on the fact that the state now has more than enough supply of COVID-19 doses to meet demand, according to the Associated Press.

Arizona residents are now being encouraged to visit a vaccination site during operating hours "if that’s their preference, to get their COVID-19 vaccine."

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"[M]aking an appointment is still the best way to complete your vaccination appointment as quickly as possible,” the department said, AP reported.

The director of the Department of Health Services, Dr. Cara Christ, told the outlet that many state residents have already been able to be accommodated and receive their vaccination and scheduled appointments in advance.

“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," Christ said. 

She also said that while scheduling an appointment would allow Arizona residents to skip extra registration time when they go to get their vaccination, the state doesn't want the requirement of an appointment to keep people from getting vaccinated.

“As we move into the next phase of COVID-19 vaccination, with supply meeting and even exceeding the current demand, we don’t want making an appointment to be a barrier to getting vaccinated,” Christ said, according to AP. “So please feel free to drop by.”

Nearly 40 percent, or 2.8 million, of the state's population has already received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Over 2.1 million Arizona residents are fully vaccinated, according to the state's coronavirus dashboard.