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ADHS transitioning state vaccination pods for the summer season

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Posted at 3:40 PM, Mar 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-19 18:40:41-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) announced how the state plans to transition state vaccination sites for summer operation.

Arizona has seen a downward trend for the last 10 weeks in cases and hospitalizations. As of Friday, more than 2.7 million doses of COVID vaccines have been administered in the state. But now the department of health services has another obstacle, the summer season.

“One of the things that all of us from Arizona know is that our weather here is going to start transitioning to where it’s going to be less pleasant outside. We are working with our partners on finalizing our plans for transitioning our state sites to indoor locations,” said Dr. Cara Christ, the ADHS Director.

In looking for indoor locations across the state, it will also change operation hours for several state pods. Department of health services director Dr. Cara Christ said the State Farm site in Phoenix will change to overnight operations starting in April. But the state pod at the University of Arizona won’t see much change and will continue to operate as it is now.

“The really cool thing about the University of Arizona is not only do they have the drive-thru site, which is on grass in a relatively shaded area. They have a lot of overhead structures to keep their people cooler, but they also have a concurrently operating indoor site. And so if we needed to move then indoors because the weather was too hot, that would be something we would consider,” said Christ.

The state is looking to move most state pod operations for the safety of the volunteers, the community, and the technology that will be used during the hot Arizona summers.

“If you’ve been out there, we operate the pod on iPads. That technology tends to not work as well when it is out in the heat,” said Christ.

Christ reassured the vaccine doses won’t be compromised the hotter it gets based on how they are stored after being liquified into the injection that goes into your arm.