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High demand for COVID booster making shots hard to get

Virus Outbreak-Boosters
Posted at 9:57 PM, Dec 07, 2021

PHOENIX — We are seeing a sharp increase in the number of COVID cases being reported here in our state with another 3,000 confirmed cases reported Monday.

The death toll in Arizona is now nearing the 23,000 mark.

This, along with the new omicron variant, is causing a rush on vaccines and booster shots.

As a result, getting those vaccination appointments is becoming tougher to do.

Several ABC15 viewers reached out to us sharing their stories of having to wait up to two weeks to get an appointment at their neighborhood pharmacy.

The Arizona Department of Health Services says there is plenty of vaccine here in the state.

The issue, according to pharmacist Heather Walker, is demand.

"I’ve seen a huge increase in demand. About a month ago, we were having one or two appointments a day and we were lucky if they showed up and yesterday I had 30 appointments which meant I had to open a second vial,” she said.

COVID-19 numbers are still high here in Arizona and with the holidays approaching and a new variant on the move she told us more people want to protect themselves.

“The variants are definitely scary to a lot of people. I also think maybe the fact that it’s been around a little bit longer and people are more comfortable with the vaccine," Walker said.

But not everyone has been able to an appointment because pharmacies can only accommodate so many patients per day.

Walker explained, “I have heard of people having a hard time finding some of the other manufacturers as well so we only have Moderna here but I think there are patients wanting Pfizer and they are struggling a little bit to find the vaccine," she said.

The best advice is to schedule your appointment early.

If you can’t get in experts say you may want to rethink your holiday plans and once again have an outdoor gathering and wear masks.

Also, keep your eye out for vaccine events because typically you don’t need an appointment for those.