Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announcing staff surge for state-run COVID-19 vaccination sites

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced on March 31 a staffing surge to meet the high demand for COVID-19 vaccination across the state, including at State Farm Stadium in Glendale.

In a statement, Gov. Ducey said as a result of additional staff and implementation of process improvements, wait times at state-run vaccination sites have reduced significantly, to under 30 minutes on March 31.

"Arizona is deploying all available resources to ensure that Arizonans continue to experience short wait times and receive excellent service while getting vaccinated," read a portion of the statement.

According to the statement, the Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) is implementing various changes to speed up lines at state-run vaccination sites, including, among other things:

  • Adding 30 additional paid staff per shift
  • Moving to paid staffing model for the majority of staff
  • Working to reduce no-shows of people signed up to volunteer
  • Stabilize volunteer participation levels
  • Opening more slots for volunteers
  • Reducing volunteer shifts from 8 hours to 6 hours when new overnight hours of operation begin at 5:00 p.m. on April 4 at State Farm Stadium
  • No longer accepting people arriving more than two hours prior to their scheduled vaccination appointment

Besides more staffing, Gov. Ducey announced that nearly 90 additional National Guard personnel will join the vaccination effort, starting on April 1.

"In total, more than 900 National Guard personnel are deployed to support the COVID-19 mission in Arizona," read a portion of the statement.

"Task force logistics had people there that evening when things got tight, and our task force medical folks were there first thing in the morning when they needed a rapid response, and then a more long-term solution came in," said Colonel Tom Leeper with the Arizona National Guard.

On March 23, FOX 10 reported that after Gov. Ducey's decision to open up COVID-19 vaccination to everyone 16 or over in Arizona, interest in volunteering at vaccine distribution sites has dropped. Those who volunteer at a state-run vaccination site will be able to get vaccinated themselves.

Arizona health expert evaluates state's COVID-19 vaccination campaign

According to the latest data, more than 1.3 million Arizonans have been fully vaccinated, and Gov. Ducey says State Farm Stadium is one of the top mass vaccination sites in the country.

Will Humble, Executive Director of the Arizona Public Health Association, says Arizona's vaccine success is about average.

"If you look at the number of vaccines given per capita, we are right in the middle," said Humble. "I think we are, like, 27 as of two days ago, so we are flat on average when it coems to numer of shots per person."

Humble also says a drop in volunteeers is a problem being faced by the mass vaccination sites.

"From the very start, they have been relying on volunteer labor, so why have people been vounteering from the beginning? Well, because it was the only way that if you weren't a senior, you'd be able to get a vaccine," said Humble.

Humble also says there's light at the end of the tunnel.

"I think we are rapidly approaching a point, within three weeks, where the vaccine is gonna get a lot easier to find," said Humble.

Related: Interest in volunteering at COVID-19 vaccination site drops as Arizona expands vaccine eligibility

Register for a vaccine at a state-run site:

Vaccinate State 48 volunteer opportunities: