Nandini Sodhi UA College of Medicine – Tucson MD Student PCMS student member My White Coat…
Recommendation taking effect Tuesday, Jan. 19, expands protection among vulnerable group
An estimated 750,000 more Arizonans are being prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccine thanks to updated guidance adding those 65 and older to populations that already include those 75 and older.
The recommendation by the Arizona Vaccine and Antiviral Prioritization Advisory Committee (VAPAC), informed by a recommendation from federal partners, is intended to protect those who are most at risk for severe outcomes due to COVID-19, such as hospitalization and death, and to reduce strain on Arizona’s hospitals. VAPAC includes state, local, and tribal experts, and healthcare partners.
These additional Arizonans age 65 and older will be able to register for vaccine starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19 in counties that are vaccinating those in prioritized Phase 1B of vaccination. However, counties are able to prioritize based on available vaccine, so it’s important to check on your county health department’s plans for vaccine prioritization. Information on the phase each county is currently vaccinating, the number of doses ordered by each county, and location of vaccination sites can be found at azhealth.gov/findvaccine.
Eighty-five percent of Arizona’s deaths from COVID-19 have been among those 65 and older. More than half of those hospitalized because of COVID-19 are in that age group.
“This critical update provides more protection for our most vulnerable,” said Gov. Doug Ducey. “Vaccinating older Arizonans against COVID-19 sooner also will help relieve the strain on our health care system.”
“As more vaccine reaches Arizona, we will continue refining our plan to maximize the benefits of this still-limited resource,” said ADHS director Dr. Cara Christ. “One of our priorities is supporting the health and well-being of Arizonans by getting these vaccines into the community as widely and efficiently as possible.”
Nearly 190,000 doses of this safe and effective vaccine have been administered to almost 171,000 Arizonans, including 17,000 who have received both doses.
More than 11,000 have already been vaccinated at a 24/7 operation ADHS and partners launched Monday, Jan. 11 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale.
To help accommodate the increased demand from expanding the priority groups, ADHS, in partnership with the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs and Arizona State University, plans to open a second state-run vaccination site on Monday, Feb. 1, at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. This won’t be a 24-hour-a-day site, and expected capacity will depend on vaccine available at that time. Registration for this vaccination site will open at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19.
Groups prioritized to date include: front-line health care workers, emergency services workers and residents and staff at long-term care facilities (in Phase 1A): and protective services workers, educators and childcare workers, and adults 75 and older (prioritized Phase 1B).
Those in groups prioritized for vaccination can register for appointments at State Farm Stadium and multiple other vaccinate sites at podvaccine.azdhs.gov/. Information about all vaccination sites across Arizona can be found at azhealth.gov/findvaccine. Those without computer access or needing extra help registering can call 1-844-542-8201 to be connected with someone who can assist. Note: You can use the patient portal at podvaccine.azdhs.gov to make an appointment for a relative in a prioritized group, such as someone 75 and older.
Those scheduled for vaccination will need to show identification upon arrival to the vaccination site demonstrating they qualify for phases 1A or priority 1B.
To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination, please visit azdhs.gov/COVID19Vaccines.