PHOENIX — A request for 300,000 additional COVID-19 vaccines made by the Arizona Department of Health Services was denied by the federal government Saturday, as the state surpassed a milestone for 400,000 vaccinations administered this week.
“We are getting more and more doses into the arms of Arizonans,” said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS). “The success of our State Farm Stadium vaccination site has made it clear that Arizona can efficiently and effectively administer [the] vaccine to large numbers. Now the federal government has to step up its game and provide additional vaccine to support Arizona’s proven momentum.”
The health department said the state, counties, and tribal governments were able to order only 169,000 doses following the denied request.
“Our message to our federal partners is simple: Give Arizona more vaccine, and we will make good use of it,” Dr. Christ said. “We have significant available capacity to expand where vaccine is offered, make more appointments available, and move forward with protecting our vulnerable populations.”
As of Saturday morning, ADHS confirmed 412,320 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered to Arizonans so far.
On Friday, ADHS Director Dr. Cara Christ said she had been advocating for more vaccines from the federal government saying, “We work very closely with some of the career professionals at HHS and FEMA."
The health department said the milestone was reached three days after passing 300,000 vaccines administered that include over 63,000 doses that were provided at State Farm Stadium, a 24/7 vaccination site that became available January 11.