Under half of Arizona’s 1M COVID vaccine shots have been given
PHOENIX – Less than half of the million-plus COVID-19 vaccine doses allocated to Arizona by the federal government as of Tuesday have made their way into people’s arms.
The Arizona Department of Health Services said that 1,031,850 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been either sent to Arizona or are being delivered this week.
The department said that around 480,000 doses have been administered. Just under 74,000 people, roughly 1% of Arizona’s population, have received both of the shots required for the vaccines to reach their full efficacy.
Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday issued an advisory aiming to speed up the pace.
Under the advisory, Arizona vaccine distributors must report data to health department, which will have the authority to reallocate doses to improve efficiency, according to an ADHS press release.
Ducey noted that Arizona’s rate has picked up in the weeks since it debuted a 24-hour mass vaccination site at State Farm Stadium in Glendale.
“With adequate vaccine doses, we can build on this success, both at our existing vaccination sites, and at additional sites across the state,” he said in the release. “This advisory will provide transparency in the pace of vaccination administration, and allow us to direct vaccine doses to where they will be most rapidly distributed.”
While the stadium site is making a difference, Arizona still ranks near the bottom nationally for doses administered per capita.
As of Tuesday, only seven states had given fewer shots per 100,000 residents than Arizona, according to tracking by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Arizona ranked 43rd for people with one dose per 100,000 residents and 34th for the per-capita rate of people getting their second shot.
For total numbers, Arizona was 17th in doses distributed and 18th in doses administered.
The CDC statistics lag behind Arizona’s reports. But that’s likely the case with other states, so it’s not clear how much, if at all, the lag affects rankings.
Last week, the federal government declined Arizona’s request for an additional 300,000 vaccines weekly. However, the Biden administration on Tuesday said it will boost state allocations over the next three weeks by about 17%.
Since vaccines became available in Arizona in mid-December, an average of 9,708 shots per day have been given statewide, according to ADHS.
The State Farm Stadium site alone has administered 5,247 doses per day since it opened earlier this month.
A second state-run mass vaccination site will open Feb. 1 at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, but it will be limited to around 500 appointments daily at first, well below its capacity, because of the supply shortage.
“Now, our federal partners need to do their part,” Ducey said. “They need to prioritize quicker distribution of the vaccine to the states, so we can get the vaccine out of freezers, off of shelves, and into the arms of Arizonans.”
Only people in phase 1A (front-line health care workers, emergency medical services workers and staff and residents at long-term care facilities) or the priority segment of phase 1B (educators, child care providers, law enforcement and adults 65 and older) are eligible to register at state-run sites.
Eligibility can vary at sites run by counties and other distributors. For example, the age cutoff is 75 for priority 1B at Maricopa County’s points of dispensing.
The Arizona health department’s website has a vaccine-finder page with a statewide map of active and pending locations and information about registration.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
For Arizona vaccine information, visit azdhs.gov/findvaccine.
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