Arizona Gov. Ducey encourages vaccination, sorry for registration woes

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and AZDHS Director Dr. Cara Christ on Aug. 31, 2020.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and his top health official said Tuesday they are sorry people have struggled to make a vaccine appointment and they are working to make it as easy as possible for people to get inoculated.

Ducey and Dr. Cara Christ issued the apology to a man who said on a telephone town hall that vaccine registration has been "a real disaster."

"I apologize for any frustration that you’ve encountered," Ducey said on March 9. "This has been a bumpy time. The demand has been so great for this vaccine from so many of our Arizonans."

MORE: Arizona improves grade by Harvard researchers to an A for COVID-19 efforts

The state has worked to increase computing capacity and build out a massive vaccination center at the Arizona Cardinals stadium in Glendale, Ducey said.

Ducey, Christ and AP Powell, a Black businessman, fielded more than two dozen questions for an audience of about 10,000 as part of an effort to encourage vaccination in underserved communities, according to the governor’s office. While Arizona has been near the top of lists ranking states by the rate of vaccines administered, vaccinations haven’t kept pace in low-income zip codes and communities of color.

Several callers asked about how to get vaccinated or whether they should get a shot with their specific health conditions. Some asked about side effects or the potential for complications.

Ducey and Christ said the vaccines are safe, effective and free. Studies have shown the vaccines are effective at preventing hospitalization and death. Many people feel flu-like symptoms for about 24 hours after getting a shot. Christ said just about all adults should be vaccinated when they’re eligible unless they are allergic to the vaccine ingredients, but they should talk to their doctor if they have concerns.

"We need Arizonans to step up and get the vaccine if we want to stop the spread of the virus and return back to normal," Ducey said.

In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Monitor your health daily


Coronavirus in Arizona: Latest case numbers

MORE: How to sign up and schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment

MORE: Maricopa County COVID-19 vaccine status updates

MORE: Arizona Dept. of Health COVID-19 vaccine prioritization

Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu. 

Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.

RELATED: Is it the flu, a cold or COVID-19? Different viruses present similar symptoms

To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.

And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms - don't go straight to your doctor's office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.

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