A new “hybrid” approach to COVID-19 vaccinations, announced by Governor Doug Ducey and the Arizona Department of Health Services, will allow Arizonans 55 and older to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The new approach was launched Monday in the Phoenix area, and state officials say that those 55 and older can start making their appointments at noon on Tuesday, March 2.
Officials say the new hybrid approach will ensure the distribution of vaccine doses to individuals at high risk of severe outcomes, including hospitalization and death, from COVID-19 due to age while allowing local health departments to prioritize frontline essential workers through employer-based vaccination strategies.
Ninety percent of Arizona’s deaths from COVID-19 have been among those 55 and older. Approximately 65 percent of those hospitalized due to COVID-19 are in that age group. Including adults 55 and older in the vaccine prioritization category will cover between 56 and 66 percent of Arizonans with medical conditions that place them at severe risk for adverse outcomes due to COVID-19. This figure grows to between 68 and 79 percent of Arizonans with high-risk medical conditions being eligible for vaccination when age of vaccine eligibility includes those 45 and older.
Local health departments may transition to the next age category when they reach 55 percent of that age category vaccinated or feel that there is no longer demand for vaccine.
ADHS will open approximately 50,000 vaccination appointments at State Farm Stadium and Phoenix Municipal Stadium at noon on Tuesday, March 2, to those 55 and older for appointments starting March 4. Arizonans 55 and older will also be eligible to schedule appointments at pharmacies and federally qualified health centers participating in the federal vaccination programs.
More than 1.8 million doses of vaccine have been administered to more than 1.2 million Arizonans, including nearly 600,000 who have received both doses.
Those in groups prioritized for vaccination can register for appointments at State Farm Stadium, Phoenix Municipal Stadium, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, and multiple other vaccination sites at podvaccine.azdhs.gov/. Information about all vaccination sites across Arizona can be found at azhealth.gov/findvaccine. Those without computer access or needing extra help registering can call 1-844-542-8201 to be connected with someone who can assist. Note: You can use the patient portal at podvaccine.azdhs.gov to make an appointment for a relative in a prioritized group, such as someone 55 and older.