Arizona to get COVID-19 vaccines in mid-December


Some Arizonans are just weeks away from being able to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

On Monday, Gov. Doug Ducey announced that the state has already enrolled providers and has an expected date of vaccine availability.

“AZ is working closely with health officials & private sector partners to ensure a quick & effective distribution of the #COVID19 vaccination. We’ve enrolled hundreds of providers who are ready to administer the vaccine, & we expect doses on the ground in mid to late December,” he said Monday afternoon on Twitter.

He credited Lt. General Gustave Perna, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, and others in charge of “Operation Warp Speed” for their work to get a vaccine fast-tracked.

Ducey signed an executive order on Nov. 18 that, in addition to sending more funds to help with medical staffing, increasing the ad campaign push against COVID-19, and tightening mask requirements for schools, also made preparations for vaccine distribution. The order extended the state’s enhanced surveillance advisory and will use the data to collect information on vaccinations.

The goal of viral vaccinations is to have enough people in a community already immune and incapable of being contagious and spreading a disease, known as herd immunity. Typically, herd immunity is defined as at least 80% of a community that can no longer catch a virus, but the percentage changes based on how contagious a virus is. According to Mayo Clinic, 70% of the population would need immunity for COVID-19 to subside.

That goal could be hampered by widespread skepticism of the new vaccine.

A September poll from the Pew Research Center found just over half of more than 10,000 Americans surveyed said they would definitely or probably get a COVID-19 vaccination when it comes available.

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