The COVID-19 Vaccine is Here and Some Arizonans Could Get It This Week

Maricopa County Public Health

By Bree Burkitt

December 14, 2020

The vaccine likely won’t be released to the general public until March or April.

The first batch of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Arizona Monday morning just days after it was granted an emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration.

A critical care nurse in New York was among the first in the US to receive the vaccine Monday and Arizona could see the first doses administered within days. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in Arizona:

Nearly 400,000 Doses to Hit Arizona By End of December

Footage from azfamily showed the first batch of the vaccine as it arrived in Arizona Monday morning. 

The first batch includes about 58,500 doses to be distributed to Maricopa and Pima counties. Maricopa County will get the bulk with 47,000 doses, while Pima will receive approximately 11,000.

An additional 70,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are expected to hit the state the week of Dec. 20 alongside 118,800 dozes of the Moderna vaccine. They will be distributed to the rest of Arizona’s 15 counties, at least four tribes, and skilled nursing facilities. All of Arizona’s skilled nursing facilities have opted into a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention program to vaccine all residents and staff.

Another 83,850 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 52,4000 of the Moderna will be released the week of Dec. 27.

Arizona should receive a total of approximately 384,350 doses by the end of the month.

Who Gets It First?  

Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ said patients could be given the vaccine within 24-48 hours after the first doses arrive.

State vaccine plans show that it will be rolled out in the following before it’s available to the general population:

  • Phase 1A
    • Health care workers and support occupations
    • Long-term care staff and residents
    • Emergency medical responders
  • Phase 1B
    • Public safety employees
    • Teachers
    • Childcare workers
  • Phase 1C
    • Adults with high-risk conditions
    • Adults older than 65
    • Those living in a congregate care setting 

The second phase of the vaccine release focuses on those at risk of acquiring or transmitting the disease and those with limited access to routine vaccination services. 

Inoculations for healthcare workers will likely begin this week and officials estimate the December allotment should be enough to cover the first dozers for healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities. The registration process will differ from county to county. In Maricopa County, those included in Phase 1A can register to receive the vaccine via a COVID-19 vaccine prescreen.

What About Everyone Else?

The vaccine likely won’t be released to the general public until March or April. However, it could be sooner as production ramps up in the coming months. 

They will likely be distributed through pharmacies, doctors, or community centers. 

Fry’s Food Store already said they’ll be partnering with the Arizona Department of Health Services and the federal government to carry the vaccine. 

How Much Will It Cost?

The vaccine will be provided at no cost. Arizonans can get the vaccine for free regardless of citizenship status or whether you have healthcare. 

Read More: The Latest on COVID-19 in Arizona


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