Arizonans 55 and older will be eligible for vaccine appointments beginning March 2

People age 55 and up will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine appointments beginning at noon March 2. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
People age 55 and up will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine appointments beginning at noon March 2. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

People age 55 and up will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine appointments beginning at noon March 2. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Gov. Doug Ducey and the Arizona Department of Health Services announced March 1 a new hybrid approach that provides Arizonans age 55 and older eligibility along with frontline essential workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Arizona will continue its age-based approach to administering the vaccine, according to a news release from ADHS—but the new hybrid approach will ensure the distribution of vaccine doses to individuals at high risk of severe outcomes, including hospitalization and death, from COVID-19 due to age while allowing local health departments to prioritize frontline essential workers through employer-based vaccination strategies.

“This critical update provides more clarity for Arizonans and will result in rapid administration of vaccine to our most vulnerable populations,” Ducey said in a statement. “Continuing to vaccinate older Arizonans against COVID-19 will help protect those at risk and cover a majority of Arizonans with chronic medical conditions. And, this hybrid approach will ensure an equitable distribution of vaccine to our frontline workers who are working with the public every day.”

Ninety percent of Arizona’s deaths from COVID-19 have been among those age 55 and older, according to ADHS, and approximately 65 percent of those hospitalized due to COVID-19 are in that age group. Including adults age 55 and older in the vaccine prioritization category will cover between 56 and 66 percent of Arizonans with medical conditions that place them at severe risk for adverse outcomes due to COVID-19, according to data from ADHS. This figure grows to between 68 and 79 percent of Arizonans with high-risk medical conditions being eligible for vaccination when age of vaccine eligibility includes those age 45 and older, according to ADHS.

To provide Arizonans with clarity, a range for transitioning the age-based eligibility has been established, according to ADHS. Local health departments may transition to the next age category when they reach 55 percent of that age category vaccinated or feel that there is no longer demand for vaccine. ADHS will be adding data to its website showing the percentage of the population vaccinated in each age category to provide information for when counties may be progressing to the next age category. This strategy allows everyone in the state to know approximately when they will be eligible to receive the vaccine, according to ADHS. Those with chronic conditions will be included in their respective age categories.


“As more vaccine reaches Arizona, we will continue refining our plan to maximize the benefits of this still-limited resource,” ADHS Director Dr. Cara Christ said in a statement. “Moving to a hybrid approach will allow us to rapidly and efficiently administer the vaccine and provide all Arizonans with a clearer estimate of when they will be eligible to be vaccinated.”

ADHS will open approximately 50,000 vaccination appointments at State Farm Stadium and Phoenix Municipal Stadium at noon on March 2 to those age 55 and older for appointments starting March 4. Arizonans age 55 and older will also be eligible to schedule appointments at pharmacies and federally qualified health centers participating in the federal vaccination programs.

In order to ensure younger populations at greatest risk of exposure will have access to vaccination as priority populations shift, local jurisdictions are able to prioritize frontline essential workers, based on available vaccine, according to ADHS. Information on the phase each county is currently vaccinating, the number of doses ordered by each county and location of vaccination sites can be found at http://azhealth.gov/findvaccine.

More than 1.8 million doses of vaccine have been administered to more than 1.2 million Arizonans, including nearly 600,000 who have received both doses, according to March 1 data from ADHS.

Those in groups prioritized for vaccination can register for appointments at State Farm Stadium, Phoenix Municipal Stadium, Chandler-Gilbert Community College and multiple other vaccination sites at http://podvaccine.azdhs.gov. Information about all vaccination sites across Arizona can be found at http://azhealth.gov/findvaccine. Those without computer access or needing extra help registering can call 844-542-8201 to be connected with someone who can assist.

To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination, visit http://azdhs.gov/COVID19Vaccines.


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