State health leaders said Wednesday that PHOENIX – another 750,000 ARIZONs – will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine next week.
Starting on Tuesday, January 19 at 9 am, people 65 and older will be allowed to make an appointment to receive the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Previously, eligibility was open to those 75 and older, as well as border workers, law enforcement, teachers and health care workers.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that vaccine distribution be opened to those 65 and older.
This week, the State Farm Stadium in Glendale transformed into a 24/7 vaccination site. It remains open as a COVID-19 test site. Appointments can be booked online here, or by calling the COVID-19 Hotline (1-844-542-8201) or Arizona 211.
For 78-year-old Frank Lucy, a former stock exchange trader who worked in New York City, and receiving the vaccine on September 11, 2001, it was important.
“I would like to get it done as soon as possible,” he said, adding that there were health problems from the 9/11 attacks.
“There were too many particles in the air and went into my lungs, I have COPD, emphysema,” he said.
Like others who try to make an appointment on Monday of this week, it is not an easy process. He struggled to get an appointment online and waited for about an hour after calling the hotline to reach someone who could help him with scheduling.
However the good news is that with Wednesday’s update decreasing the eligibility age, Frank should be allowed to make an appointment early next week.
On Monday, health officials, along with the CDC and Operation War Speed, urged states to begin vaccinating those 65 and older vaccines immediately.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar II said, “In some states, the enormous micro-vaccine of this process has reached the path of vaccines with weaker populations.”
For additional incentives, states will now compete against each other for large supplies of the vaccine.
Azar II said, “We will allocate them based on the speed of administration as per the report of the states.”
Then there is the task: to deliver 100 million doses in 30 days to Americans.
Officials with the National Association of Chain Drug Stores said that the federal government has activated the federal pharmacy partnership program to provide vaccines to retail pharmacies for Phase 1B and beyond. The program will benefit more than 40,000 pharmacies nationwide to distribute and inject 100 million vaccines a month.
Those 40,000 locations would need to have 83 vaccinations a day over a 12-hour period, on average about 7 vaccinations an hour.