More Than Half Of Maricopa County Residents 75 And Older Have Been Vaccinated
About one in every seven people in Maricopa County has now received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. The vaccination rate is highest among the county’s older populations.
Maricopa County Public Health reports more than 30% of county residents between the ages of 65 and 74, and about 53% of those 75-and-older have had at least one shot.
“Those are not only the people who are most vulnerable to severe disease, hospitalization and death, but that also helps protect our health care system for everyone else,” Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine with Maricopa County Public Health told reporters Thursday.
Maricopa County Public Health has also been targeting K-12 school staff and child care workers through vaccination events with the county's school districts. About 20,000 shots have been administered at these events so far and Sunenshine said the county will have offered at least one dose to all of the county’s educators by next week. She expects to complete second doses for educators by early April.
Vaccines remain in limited supply nationwide and Maricopa County is still only making vaccines available to prioritized populations. Marcy Flanagan, executive director of Maricopa County Public Health, said she expects manufacturing and shipping of doses to speed up in coming weeks, especially if the federal government grants authorization to a new vaccine from Johnson & Johnson at the end of February. But she said it could still take a few months before the county can expand vaccine eligibility to include essential workers or other high-risk populations.
"As far as a timeline for our plan, it really has always been dependent on how much vaccine we received in Arizona," Flanagan said. "That continues to be a factor that is really a big unknown.