State health leaders announced Wednesday that another 750,000 Arizonans will become eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine next week.
Beginning on Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 9 a.m., Arizonans 65 years and older can make an appointment to receive the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, vaccination appointments have been open to those 75 and older, frontline workers, law enforcement, teachers, and health care workers.
Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that states open vaccine distribution to those 65 and older.
For the last week, State Farm Stadium in Glendale has played a vital role in not only serving as a major vaccination site in Arizona, but also remains open as a COVID-19 testing site. Vaccination appointments have been available 24/7. Appointments can be booked online here, or by calling the COVID-19 hotline (1-844-542-8201) or Arizona 211.
With the CDC’s announcement this week and health officials with Operation Warp Speed urging states to begin vaccinating those 65 and older, it will be quite a task to distribute 100 million doses to Americans in 30 days.
“In some states, heavy-handed micromanagement of this process has stood in the way of vaccines reaching a broader swath of the vulnerable population more quickly,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar II.
For added incentives, states will now compete against each other for a larger supply of the vaccine.
“We will be allocating them based on the pace of administration as reported by states,” said Azar II.
Officials with the National Association of Chain Drug stores said the federal government has activated the federal pharmacy partnership program to provide vaccines to retail pharmacies for phase 1B and beyond. The program will leverage more than 40,000 pharmacies across the nation to distribute and inject 100 million vaccines in a month’s time.
Those 40,000 locations would need to do 83 vaccinations a day over a 12-hour period, averaging about 7 vaccinations an hour.