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As COVID-19 Cases Rise, More Arizonans Are Getting Vaccinated

COVID-19  cases are soaring in Arizona. But the pace of vaccinations in the state appears to be picking up in response.

The number of COVID-19 vaccines administered each day in Maricopa County started falling sharply in April. By July, the county hit a low of about 5,500 doses administered per day. But over the past few weeks,  Maricopa County Public Health reports the average has jumped to about 8,200 shots a day.

“I think increased public awareness of the delta variant that’s associated with this surge in cases, and combining that with K-12 going back to school, are what is really driving this increase,” said Dr. Sarah Scott, a medical epidemiologist with the county health department. 

Scott said younger people are driving the trend.

“What is most important and exciting for us to see is that adolescents in that age group of 12-14 are actually getting vaccinated at the highest rate per 100,000 of their population," Scott said. 

Scott said the trend is encouraging but said to contain the outbreak, many more Arizonans still need to get vaccinated. About 50% of all Maricopa County residents have had at least one shot, well below the 59% national average.

Katherine Davis-Young is a senior field correspondent reporting on a variety of issues, including public health and climate change.