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Arizona Expects 384,000 COVID-19 Vaccines By Month's End

Dr. Cara Christ
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
editorial | staff
Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, at a news conference Dec. 11, 2020.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine any day now, so Arizona is preparing to administer almost 60,000 of the shots to health care providers in Maricopa and Pima counties the week of Dec. 14.

“We're looking at receiving the doses sometime between the beginning to middle of next week, and we're looking to start vaccinating middle to end of next week," said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Health care workers, emergency medical staff and long-term care facility employees will be first in line for the shots, which require a second dose three to four weeks later. Maricopa County will receive 47,000 of this first batch of vaccines, while Pima County has been allocated 11,000 vaccines, assuming they are approved.

During the week of Dec. 21, Christ expects Arizona will begin distributing the Moderna vaccine in addition to Pfizer's. She said the state plans to allocate doses of vaccine to all 15 counties and four tribal communities according to their respective numbers of healthcare workers.

Arizona plans to distribute a combined total of 384,350 doses of both companies' COVID-19 vaccines by the end of the month, Christ added.

Arizona is currently recruiting volunteers from the healthcare fields to help support staff at its vaccination sites. Find more information at  azhealth.gov/volunteer.

Austin Fast joined KJZZ in 2020 as he finished his master's degree in investigative journalism at Arizona State's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.Before moving to Phoenix, he covered the world’s largest wild salmon fishery at KDLG Public Radio in rural Alaska, wrote breaking news at a Cincinnati TV station, and taught English overseas with the Peace Corps. He now works on the investigations team at National Public Radio in Washington, D.C.