During the ever-evolving COVID-19 response, Coconino County continues to remain nimble to best meet the needs of the community.
Today, in accordance with the updated Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) COVID-19 vaccination guidelines, Coconino County is expanding vaccinations to individuals aged 55 and older as part of the current Phase 1b. Also, ADHS informed Coconino County Health and Human Services (CCHHS) that it has been allocated 1,100 doses of the JANSSEN single dose COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.
“Coconino County is following guidance from ADHS regarding Phase 1b which was recently updated to include the 55 plus age group. We understand that this move is intended to help those most at-risk and are pleased to offer the vaccine to these individuals,” said Coconino County Health and Human Services (CCHHS) Director Kim Musselman. “We are also committed to providing vaccines to the county’s large frontline services workforce. We want to encourage all those who are working and providing in-person services in Coconino County to get vaccinated as soon as possible. It is important to note that vaccine supply is still very limited, but we continue to advocate for increased vaccine allocation and are excited about the addition of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.”
Coconino County expects 1,100 doses of the Johnson & Johnson single dose COVID-19 vaccine to arrive early next week. The FDA issued the Emergency Use Authorization for this vaccine on Feb. 27, 2021. This vaccine is stored at the normal refrigerated temperature of between 2-8 degrees Celsius for up to three months and is for individuals 18 and older.
Coconino County is currently vaccinating those eligible individuals in Phase 1a and Phase 1b. Those individuals currently eligible are:
Phase 1a: Healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents and staff.
• Education and childcare workers, teachers and staff. This includes all school and higher education staff who normally interact with other staff and students, and bus drivers, cafeteria workers, facilities staff etc.; Law enforcement and protective services (corrections, other emergency response staff);
• Individuals aged 55 and older.
• Power and utility workers
• Food and agriculture related occupations (packaging and distribution workers, grocery and restaurant workers).
• Transportation and material moving occupations (public transportation providers, airlines, gas stations, auto shop workers, and other transportation network providers).
• State and local government workers that provide critical services for continuity of government.
• Other essential workers (e.g., business and financial services, supply chain for critical goods, funeral services, critical trades, etc.).
• Adults with high-risk medical conditions living in shelter or other congregate living settings.
Vaccine is provided at no cost at all COVID-19 vaccination sites. Individuals without internet access or those who require assistance can call the Coconino County COVID-19 Information Line at 928-679-7300. The Information Line hours are Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The community is encouraged to check the Coconino County vaccine webpage at coconino.az.gov/covid19vaccine each Friday at noon for new appointment availability. Links to vaccination partners registration sites are available on the website.
Gov. Doug Ducey is applauding the hard work of Arizona’s medical professionals, volunteers and frontline workers as the state reaches one million vaccine doses administered on Wednesday, Feb. 10, according to a news release.
“We’ve reached a major milestone with our one millionth dose,” Ducey said. “The dedication and hard work of many made this accomplishment possible. Nurses, doctors, health technicians, support staff, volunteers — to each and every one of you, thank you.”
“But there’s more work to be done,” he added. “Arizonans are eager to get the vaccine, and we’re committed to distributing it safely and efficiently. We will continue to work with our private and public partners to quickly distribute the vaccine, and with the federal government to secure the doses we need to protect Arizona.”
Due to the large number of vaccine doses administered every day by the state, Arizona’s 15 counties and private health care providers, the one millionth person to receive the vaccine cannot be determined. Latest numbers from the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) show Arizona has administered 996,699 doses, and the one millionth dose will be administered today based on the reported number of Arizonans vaccinated each day.
ADHS Director Dr. Cara Christ said that administering one million doses of the vaccine in less than two months is a testament to the private public partnerships that have come together in the fight against COVID-19.
“At the Arizona Department of Health Services, we’re working to administer the vaccine quickly,” Christ said. “We are thrilled to reach one million doses administered, and we will continue to get Arizonans vaccinated so we can protect our vulnerable populations. Thank you to all of our partners who are working tirelessly to get the vaccine into Arizonans’ arms.”
On Dec. 14, Arizona received its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine doses. That same week, distribution of the vaccine began in the state’s largest population centers, Maricopa and Pima counties.
On Dec. 30, Ducey issued an executive order to rapidly expand access to the COVID-19 vaccine by streamlining distribution throughout Arizona and establishing additional vaccination sites.
On Jan. 11, Arizona opened a state-run vaccination site at the State Farm Stadium that operates 24/7. The site has administered 186,489 since opening. Additionally, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris praised the work being done at the site during a virtual tour on Feb. 8.
On Feb. 1, the state opened another site at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. The site has administered 17,572 to date.
On Jan. 26, the governor issued an executive order to accelerate the statewide distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine and move doses of vaccine to where they can be rapidly administered to Arizonans.
Earlier this month, the governor sent a letter to members of Arizona’s congressional delegation to request help in meeting the urgent need for additional supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine and secure funding for its distribution. The state of Arizona recently requested an additional 300,000 doses of the life-saving vaccine, and an additional 300,000 doses a week. The request was denied.
On Wednesday, Ducey and the ADHS announced a partnership with the University of Arizona and the Pima County Health Department to operate a state vaccination site on the university’s mall area on central Tucson campus, beginning Feb. 16.
Information provided by the Arizona Department of Health Services.
The Arizona Department of Health Services for the first time Tuesday posted a dashboard to display demographic data about COVID-19 vaccine administration across the state.
The information is limited, especially when it comes to race and ethnicity data.
The data shows that about 48% of those who have received at least one dose have been white, although 37% of individuals are “other race/unknown.”
The state health department did not immediately respond to a question Tuesday afternoon about why the race/ethnicity data is missing for more than one in three vaccinated individuals statewide.
So far, only 8.2% of those vaccinated are listed as Hispanic or Latino; 3% as American Indian or Alaska Native; 2.4% as Asian; and 1.4% as Black.
Arizona’s Census data shows a population that is about 54% white, 32% Hispanic or Latino, 5% American Indian or Alaska Native, 5% Black and 4% Asian.
White individuals are disproportionately getting vaccines at the two state-run, drive-thrusites in Maricopa County. About 62% of individuals vaccinated at those sites were white, compared to 3.8% Hispanic or Latino, although race is listed as other or unknown for 29% of individuals.
"Obviously, if we invest most of our resources as a state into the large vaccine distribution PODs (point of distribution sites), that's great for getting vaccine to a lot of people, but any time that we focus on vaccinating a majority of people, it often leaves out minorities," said Marcus Johnson, state policy director for the Phoenix-based Vitalyst Health Foundation, which has a mission of improving the health of Arizona individuals and communities.
"That's one of the inherent downside risks of the mass vaccine distribution centers," he said.
The first vaccine shots were administered in Arizona in mid-December, although the state until now has only been providing total numbers of doses ordered and administered, with no demographic data.
As of Tuesday, 954,290 vaccine doses had been administered to 750,244 people. Nearly 192,700 people had been fully vaccinated with at least one dose administered in Arizona, and 355,745 individuals ages 65 and older have received at least one dose.
State data shows that roughly 2.6% of the population had been fully vaccinated with two doses.
The percentage of Arizonans who are fully vaccinated is likely higher than 2.6% because the state's numbers do not include vaccines administered through the federal government, including Indian Health Services, the Veterans Administration and retail pharmacy programs.
The rollout has been slower than expected and many counties say they are not receiving enough vaccine doses from the state.
For inquiries about the COVID-19 vaccine, including general information and availability, please call the Northern Arizona healthcare COVID-19 hotline at 928-773-2301 or 1-833-708-0894
NOTE: The COVID-19 vaccine is not currently available to the general public based on CDC and Arizona State Department of Health Services guidance, which prioritizes healthcare workers and long term care residents for initial roll-out while vaccine supply is scarce.
As vaccine becomes more widely available, Northern Arizona Healthcare will offer vaccination to more populations in accordance with the CDC and Arizona State Department of Health Services guidance. This page will be updated as the vaccine becomes available.
Approximately six hours after Coconino County moved to allow priority populations within Phase 1b to make COVID-19 vaccination appointments at its Fort Tuthill vaccination site on Jan. 8, all 1,600 available appointments were booked.
Coconino County Health and Human Services (CCHHS) and vaccination partner organizations are working to ensure the swift administration of the available COVID-19 vaccine. The community continues to demonstrate a high level of interest in getting vaccinated; however, the available supply of the COVID-19 vaccine remains limited.
“After allowing Phase 1a eligible individuals to schedule their vaccination appointments, more than 1,500 slots remained available for first doses. Coconino County made the strategic decision to move to priority populations within Phase 1b to ensure the vaccine is being used rather than allowing precious doses to wait in a freezer. While I know it is frustrating for those who want a vaccine but were unable to book an appointment, there will be additional opportunities to receive a vaccination soon when more supplies become available,” said Interim Director of Health and Human Services Kim Musselman.
Individuals who qualify for the current Phase 1a and priority populations within Phase 1b eligibility are encouraged to check the County’s COVID-19 vaccine webpage at coconino.az.gov/covid19vaccine frequently as appointments could become available if cancellations occur. Links to partner COVID-19 vaccination sites are included and may have appointment availability.
Individuals within Phase 1a including healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents and staff continue to be eligible to receive vaccinations. Additionally, through the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care Program, CDC has engaged retail pharmacy partners (CVS and Walgreens) to secure vaccine and provide on-site vaccination of residents and staff at no cost to the facility. Skilled Nursing Facilities residents and staff will receive the vaccine first, followed by Assisted Living and other adult congregate settings. This program’s process and allocation is separate and outside of Coconino County’s jurisdiction and is operating on a different timeline than the County at-large.
CCHHS is working to add partner vaccine sites and to plan specific vaccination events for persons 75 years or older. Information will be provided as it becomes available. As vaccine availability increases and the current priority groups have received vaccine doses, vaccination recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will expand to include more groups.
Definitions of priority populations within Phase 1b are:
Vaccinations for other essential workers and adults with high-risk conditions in congregate settings are also in Phase 1b but are not included in one of the three priority populations mentioned above due to limited vaccine supply. Eligibility for those groups will open at a later time.
The Arizona Department of Health Services announced the opening of a vaccination site at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ. All eligible Arizona Phase 1a and 1b priority individuals can schedule an appointment at the Statewide Vaccination Site at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, regardless of county of residence. Registration is available at https://podvaccine.azdhs.gov/.
Vaccine supplies are being allocated to ensure the availability of second doses. Those seeking second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine should seek vaccination at the same site where they received the first dose. Instructions for registering for second dose appointments are provided during an individual’s first vaccine appointment.
Individuals without internet access and those aged 75 years and older who require assistance with registration can call the COVID-19 Information Line at 928-679-7300.
For current information on the COVID-19 vaccine in Coconino County, the phases of vaccine distribution and locations as well as frequently asked questions, please visit www.coconino.az.gov/covid19vaccine.