ARIZONA NEWS

COVID-19 vaccinations trending upward in Arizona as variant spreads

Aug 6, 2021, 4:45 AM | Updated: 8:52 am
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — A growing number of people are getting vaccinated against COVID-19 every week in Arizona as the highly contagious delta variant of the virus continues to spread.

In Maricopa County, more people have been rolling up their sleeves for a COVID-19 vaccine than in previous weeks.

“We’re hoping that will continue to go up because we know that people who are not fully vaccinated are more at risk for getting COVID,” Dr. Sarah Scott, a medical epidemiologist for the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, said.

She added younger people are mostly the ones driving the increase in vaccinations in Maricopa County.

“Our older population, especially those older than 65 years of age, are highly vaccinated in our county,” Scott said. “Well over 80% have received at least one dose of vaccine.”

Statewide, vaccinations are also trending upward.

The Arizona Department of Health Services COVID-19 dashboard shows the weekly total number of people getting a vaccine has been increasing.

This comes as the delta variant is now the dominant strain of COVID-19 in Arizona.

“I think a lot of talk about that has probably encouraged people who are on the fence to go get vaccinated,” Scott said, pointing to the delta variant.

She also believes the county’s “Take Care” campaign launched in June is also encouraging people to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

About 49% of all Maricopa County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Statewide, nearly 53% have done the same.

Arizona trails the nationwide rates of 58% with at least one dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For those who have not been vaccinated, Scott said she wants them to know the vaccine “is safe and is very effective at preventing severe illness, being hospitalized and dying from COVID-19.”

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COVID-19 vaccinations trending upward in Arizona as variant spreads