Arizona Adults 65 And Older Now Eligible To Receive COVID-19 Vaccine
Today, in some places around the state, the pool of people who can get vaccinated for COVID-19 is opening up by a lot.
The state Department of Health Services is recommending that counties allow people age 65 and older to be allowed to sign up for vaccination.
Right now, most counties in Arizona are somewhere in the 1B phase of distribution. The groups included in 1A and the first part of 1B are health care workers, staff and residents of long-term care facilities, adults 75 and older, school staff, child care workers and law enforcement.
Across the state, rules for COVID-19 vaccination sites differ by county — or even within them.
For example, State Farm Stadium and Phoenix Municipal Stadium are in Maricopa County. But those two big stadium vaccine sites are run by the state health department.
Meanwhile, the county is running its own sites.
If you're a health care worker or you're 75 and older, Maricopa County has some availability at its sites. But if you're a teacher or if you're someone in that 65 to 74 age group, the state says they'll take you at one of their sites — one of those two big stadiums.
To sign up for an appointment at one of the stadiums, head to podvaccine.azdhs.gov. If you cannot access the internet, you can have someone else sign up for you. You can also call 211, where they'll help you make an appointment if you're eligible.
State health director Dr. Cara Christ has said the only thing limiting the number of people they can vaccinate at this point is supply of the vaccine from the federal government.
The Trump administration had recently told states it was going to release everything it had been holding in reserve, and states expected to get a big bump in supply when that happened. But it turned out the federal government had actually already shipped out its whole supply.
Christ said that's disappointing, but she doesn't expect an interruption in what the state had already planned.
"We have not been basing our planning efforts on projections. And so really trying to stay within our means here so that everyone who has an appointment has a vaccine waiting for them," Christ said.
That said, Arizona's rollout has been a lot slower than what the state had hoped.