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The Trump administration announced on January 12, 2021 the plan to release additional doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to states instead of withholding the second dose as had been done previously. The United States Department of Health and Human Services is urging states to expand vaccinations to everyone age 65 and older to vaccinate more people immediately.
Although the release of additional vaccine will result in increased future allocations, Coconino County continues to have limited supplies of COVID-19 vaccine at this time. As a result, the County will continue to offer vaccine to those identified in the current phased vaccine distribution plan. When the Arizona Department of Health Services, specifically the Vaccine and Antiviral Prioritization Advisory Committee (VAPAC), revises their guidance and more vaccine doses become available, priority groups will be added such as those 65 years and older. Coconino County is required to follow the guidance of the Arizona Department of Health Services and is currently awaiting additional information.
“At this time, direction and allocation of doses has not yet changed. We are monitoring the situation closely. Coconino County’s goal is to provide COVID-19 vaccination to anyone who is interested as soon as large enough quantities of vaccine are available,” said Interim Director of Health and Human Services Kim Musselman.
Coconino County is currently vaccinating those eligible individuals in Phase 1a and priority populations within Phase 1b. Healthcare providers are included in Phase 1a and priority populations within Phase 1b include education and childcare workers, law enforcement and protective services, and individuals age 75 and older. Vaccinations are also offered by appointment at partner vaccination locations and other vaccination sites independent of the County, including the CDC’s Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care Program and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. For additional details on Coconino County’s phased vaccination plan, visit coconino.az.gov/covid19vaccine.
“I understand the frustration being expressed by members of our community. The Board of Supervisors is actively advocating for additional vaccine so that we can get doses in as many arms as possible, as quickly as possible. We are all eager to return to normalcy and we know that the vaccine can help us get there. I ask the residents of Coconino County for patience as we await additional supply and on-board partners to operate vaccine sites,” said Chairman Matt Ryan.
The community is encouraged to check Coconino County’s vaccine webpage at coconino.az.gov/covid19vaccine for updates.