383,000 Arizonans Could Get COVID-19 Vaccines This Month

Published: Friday, December 4, 2020 - 4:32pm
Updated: Friday, December 4, 2020 - 6:36pm
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Arizona’s top public health official expects COVID-19 vaccines will start arriving to the state in less than two weeks and said Arizona is likely to receive enough vaccines to give the first of two doses to more than 383,000 people by the end of the month.

Advisers for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will meet to consider emergency use authorization for the vaccine made by Pfizer on Dec. 10. Pending that decision, Arizona could receive 58,500 doses of the Pfizer vaccine around Dec. 13  and an additional 154,050 doses over the following two weeks. FDA advisers will consider the vaccine made by Moderna on Dec. 17. Arizona could then receive 118,800 doses of the Moderna vaccine by Dec. 20 and another 52,400 by Dec. 27, according to Arizona's Department of Health Services. 

Both vaccines will require two doses, said Department of Health Services director, Dr. Cara Christ, "so three to four weeks later we will get another 383,000 doses to ensure that all of those individuals get their full course of the vaccine.”

In a video call with reporters Friday, Christ said health care workers in Arizona will receive the first shots. 

“They will be large, drive-in sites very similar to the testing sites that they are operating where they can do high-volume, quickly. So our goal is to get through as many of those health care providers as we can by the end of December," Christ said. 

Residents and staff of long term care facilities will have access to vaccines shortly after through a collaboration program between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and pharmacies. Health care workers and long term care residents fall into the state's 1A phase for priority populations. Christ said she expects the 1B phase, which includes teachers, law enforcement and other essential workers, could begin by January.

Christ said it will be several months before vaccines are available to the broader Arizona population, so practicing social distancing is still critical as the virus continues to spread out of control.

→ Challenges Ahead As Arizona Prepares For COVID-19 Vaccines

Arizona Department Of Health Services COVID-19 Vaccine Priority Populations

Phase 1A

  • Health care practitioners and technical occupations
  • Health care support occupations
  • Skilled nursing facility residents
  • Assisted living, independent living, HUD senior housing residents
  • DES group homes for individuals with developmental disabilities and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, and staff

Phase 1B

  • Adults with high risk medical conditions living in shelters or other congregate living settings
  • Education and child care providers
  • Law enforcement, corrections, and other emergency response staff
  • Power and utility workers
  • Food and agriculture related occupations
  • Transportation and material moving occupations
  • State and local government workers who provide critical services for continuity of government
  • Other essential workers

Phase 1C 

  • Adults with underlying medical conditions
  • Adults 65 years and older
  • Adults living in congregate settings
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