The COVID-19 vaccine will be available to all state residents 16 and older beginning this week.
Registration at state-operated sites in Maricopa County will begin at 8 a.m. Wednesday for inoculations with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Pinal County vaccination sites, however, are currently open to all persons ages 18 and older. The age limit differs from the state sites because county sites administer Moderna and Janssen (Johnson + Johnson) vaccines, which require one to be 18 or older.
“Our goal has been and remains to get vaccine into the community as quickly, widely and equitably as possible,” said Gov. Doug Ducey in a statement. “Given a thorough review of vaccination data, anticipated vaccine supply, and current demand among prioritized groups, now is the time to take this critical next step.”
As of Monday morning, more than 58,000 appointments were still available from Friday’s release, Dr. Cara M. Christ, ADHS director, said at an afternoon news conference at State Farm Stadium, a 24-17 state-run vaccination site. The state has administered 2.9 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to 1.8 million individuals, including 1.1 million who are fully vaccinated, Christ said.
The change announced Monday advances a hybrid approach that had been based on age and also has had counties vaccinating frontline essential workers. It applies to appointments still available for this week at state sites in Maricopa and Pima counties.
“We anticipate more and more vaccine reaching Arizona heading into April, making it possible now to expand prioritization,” Christ said. “We have been flexible and nimble throughout, while expanding the availability of state sites to vaccinate large numbers of people rapidly.”
ADHS now opens appointments at 11 a.m. each Friday for State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona State University’s Phoenix Municipal Stadium in Tempe, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, the University of Arizona in central Tucson, and, as of this Friday, Yuma Civic Center in Yuma County.
State sites complement county vaccination programs and the growing availability of vaccine at pharmacies and federally qualified health centers participating in federal vaccination programs.
Pinal County vaccination sites are currently open to all persons ages 18 and older. The lower age limit of 18 years differs from the state sites because county sites administer Moderna and Janssen vaccines which require one to be 18 or older.
In Pinal County, the diagnostic positivity rate decreased from 14% last week to 11% Monday, the county health department announced.