ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix coordinating with Maricopa County, not state, on vaccine delivery

Dec 8, 2020, 4:45 AM | Updated: 2:45 pm
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The city of Phoenix is coordinating with Maricopa County officials on vaccine delivery, which could begin as soon as next week, but not the governor’s office, Mayor Kate Gallego said.

“The last time I spoke with Gov. Doug Ducey was this summer when he called to let me know that he was going to allow cities to put a mask requirement in place,” the mayor of Arizona’s largest city said Monday during an interview with KTAR News 92.3 FM.

Ducey used to have regular briefings with mayors but hasn’t held them in months, Gallego said.

“He canceled those,” she said. “I would encourage him to bring those back because they were an important opportunity for us to share information about what’s happening on the ground in our communities and for his office to share information about their priorities.”

The City Council will discuss Phoenix’s supporting role in vaccine distribution for the first time at Tuesday’s meeting, Gallego said.

She said some city first responders are expected to be among the health care workers prioritized for early access to the vaccine, but it could be months before the shots become available to most residents.

“By spring, many of us can expect our vaccines,” she said. “So there is the light at the end of the tunnel, but we have to take the virus seriously until then.”

Gallego said the Arizona State Fairgrounds “may be an important place to get a vaccine” for many Phoenix residents.

“We’ve learned a lot from drive-thru COVID testing and flu shots, and we’re going to take that knowledge and put into place supporting our health care workers who are delivering this vital shot in the arm,” she said.

Multiple COVID-19 metrics in Arizona are at or approaching the highest they’ve been since the start of the pandemic.

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 1,567 new coronavirus cases, breaking a four-day streak above 5,000, and no additional deaths on Monday. That put the state’s totals at 365,843 COVID-19 infections and 6,950 fatalities.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ali Vetnar contributed to this report.

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Phoenix coordinating with Maricopa County, not state, on vaccine delivery