Arizona leaders stress importance of vaccine amid rising COVID-19 cases

Jul 23, 2021, 5:00 PM | Updated: 8:14 pm
Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, R, ...

Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, R, hold a press conference to update Arizona's preparedness for COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak at the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory Wednesday, March 25, 2020 in Phoenix. (Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic via AP, Pool)

(Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic via AP, Pool)

PHOENIX — In response to the rising COVID-19 cases due to the delta variant, Arizona leaders on Friday stressed the importance of getting vaccinated.

“We have a proven solution with the vaccine,” Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said in a press release. “I strongly encourage every Arizonan who is eligible for the vaccine to get it so they can protect themselves and our whole state.”

Since March, 94% of COVID-19 deaths have been those not fully vaccinated, while 94% of COVID-19 hospitalizations are among those not fully vaccinated, according to Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ.

“We know cases are increasing in Arizona, which is why it’s so important to get vaccinated,” Christ said in a press conference Friday.

Because of the supply of vaccines in Arizona, Ducey said businesses will remain open, children can attend school and there will be no mask mandate.

Vaccine distribution began in the state in December, starting with health care workers and vulnerable individuals. More than seven months later, at least 3.3 million Arizonans are fully vaccinated.

However, at least 57% of eligible Arizona — those 12 years of age and older — have received one dose.

Christ said alongside the increase in the number of vaccinated individuals infected with COVID since March is also a higher community transmission rate.

The “younger age group tends to be asymptomatic or not have as severe of outcomes so they don’t feel the need to get the vaccination,” Christ said.

“What we need that group to understand is COVID is predictably unpredictable. You don’t know how it’s going to impact you, but you also don’t know how it’s going to impact others.”

There are currently over 1,000 retail pharmacies currently offering neighborhood vaccinations, including Fry’s, Walgreens, CVS and Costco.

“There is plenty of supply of the vaccine, it’s easy to get, and it’s free,” Ducey said in the release.

“It is the surest way of keeping you and your loved ones safe. I got my shot once I was eligible, and I’m glad I did.”

Anyone seeking for more information on COVID-19 vaccines are advised to visit the AZDHS website, talk to a doctor or medical professional, and consider asking loved ones about their vaccination experience.

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