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Maricopa County drops age limit for COVID-19 vaccine to 65

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX – Maricopa County will expand COVID-19 vaccination eligibility to 65, lowering age requirements because nearly half of older adults already have had at least one shot.

The new age limit goes into effect Monday, Maricopa County Public Health said Thursday. The agency also announced it had launched a vaccine dashboard.

“The data shows that our decision to provide older adults a little extra time to access vaccine has proven successful and the timing is now right to invite our residents 65 and older to step up and get vaccinated,” Marcy Flanagan, health department director, said in a press release.

The move aligns with the federal pharmacy vaccine program scheduled to begin later this week, which will put the vaccine in 182 pharmacies in Maricopa County.

The county health department estimates that nearly 400,000 adults 65-74 will become eligible for the vaccine.

According to the department’s dashboard, more than 120,000 Maricopa County residents (about one in four people who have received at least one dose) have been fully vaccinated with two doses of vaccine and about half of those vaccinated are 65 or older.

The county is also working to set up vaccination events, such as neighborhood pop-up vaccinations, in the coming weeks for people meeting the age requirement.

Maricopa County also runs five points of dispensing in partnership with Valley hospitals for all eligible priority populations, as well as one at Grand Canyon University.

While the Arizona Department of Health Services had lowered the age from 75 to 65 last month for phase 1B, the county held off, citing a limited vaccine supply.

For more information about statewide vaccine availability, the ADHS website has a vaccine-finder page with a map of locations and information about registration.

For Arizona vaccine information, visit azdhs.gov/findvaccine.

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

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