(AP File Photo / Evan Vucci)
PHOENIX – President Joe Biden on Monday expressed his appreciation for the policy of vaccinating caretakers or family members who lead a person to be vaccinated at the state-run site at State Farm Stadium.
During a virtual to visit from the Glendale pod with Vice President Kamala Harris and Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr Cara Christ, Biden said he was “happy and a little surprised” to hear about the policy .
Christ said the decision to vaccinate a “plus one” is an on-site clinical decision that depends on the vaccine supply and the ability to register an additional person.
“We know that people are in constant contact with their families and loved ones and that we can do more to surround them with vaccinated people… it just keeps people safe,” Christ said.
During a visit to the @StateFarmStdm vaccination site, @POTUS @Joe Biden asked about Arizona’s “+1 policy,” which offers vaccines to people accompanying someone with an appointment when vaccine resources permit. Watch: pic.twitter.com/km9i6O2Att
– Doug Ducey (@dougducey) February 8, 2021
The “plus one” policy allows the state to track its vaccine supply, Christ said, while the 24/7 nature of the State Farm Stadium site ensures that no doses are expired or unused.
State Farm Stadium is one of two state-run pods, the other is located at Phoenix Municipal Stadium and opened on February 1.
During the tour, Christ announced that a third state-run site will open in Pima County in the coming weeks, marking the first state-run pod outside the valley.
Those in phase 1A and priority groups in phase 1B are currently eligible to receive vaccinations at state-run sites.
This includes frontline health care workers; emergency service workers; residents and staff of long-term care facilities; protection service workers; Kindergarten to Grade 12 educators from universities and community colleges; child care workers; and adults 65 years of age and over.
More than 861,000 vaccines have been administered statewide as of the state health department’s update on Saturday, with nearly 160,000 vaccines in the state-run pods.
The State Farm Stadium site hit its 100,000 dose dose on Jan. 30, less than three weeks after it opened.
Christ said the Glendale site averages 8,000-9,000 vaccinations per day, but could do 12,000 with more vaccines.
Biden said Christ should expect a call from the NFL on how to run a group of this magnitude after the league offered Biden all of their stadiums for vaccination sites, with the season ending Sunday.
“I think they’re going to come over to you to see how you’ve done because you’re doing a great job,” Biden said.