With Hot Temperatures Coming, State Is Making Plans To Continue Vaccine Momentum
PHOENIX, AZ (STL.News) More than 1 million Arizonans—approximately one in seven residents—are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Governor Doug Ducey and the Arizona Department of Health Services announced. Arizona is making plans to continue the momentum as temperatures heat up and in anticipation of increased vaccine supply and opening vaccination to everyone 16 and older by May 1.
“Every dose of the COVID-19 vaccine administered to an Arizona resident represents an essential step forward in our fight against COVID-19,” said Governor Ducey. “I’m so grateful to the thousands of staff and volunteers at vaccination sites statewide for their dedication and hard work, which has made this milestone possible.”
As of Tuesday morning, 1,007,600 Arizonans have received either both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine. A total of 2,590,447 doses have been administered to 1,628,587 individuals since COVID-19 vaccine doses began arriving in Arizona in December.
“Of the many important milestones reached to date, this one is especially significant because it’s individuals who now have the full benefit of vaccination against COVID-19,” said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS). “With 1 million fully vaccinated, there are still 6 million more Arizonans who potentially can have this protection as more vaccine becomes available.”
Nearly 700,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered at state mass-vaccination sites, which use a model that has won attention from other states and praise from President Joe Biden. On Monday, 77-year-old Surprise resident Judith Beaulieu received the 500,000th COVID-19 vaccine dose administered at the State Farm Stadium vaccination site, which has operated 24/7 since opening Jan. 11.
As summer approaches, ADHS and its partners are finalizing plans for continuing mass-vaccination operations in preparation for additional vaccine supplies expected from the federal government. In early April, for example, the State Farm Stadium site will convert to overnight operation to protect staff, volunteers, and patients from extreme heat. To replace that capacity at State Farm Stadium and other sites, the state is identifying indoor venues allowing for continued vaccination.
“The state has been able to establish mass-vaccination sites quickly at outdoor venues. Now we will replicate that in places allowing us to continue this momentum as temperatures climb,” Dr. Christ said. “We expect considerably more vaccine from the federal government in the coming weeks, and state sites will be part of a response that includes community-level efforts by counties, vaccine available at pharmacies and similar settings, and more.”