Here, they are vaccines for everyone


(More recent)
– An Arizona county has simplified its requirements to receive a COVID-19 vaccine: you only have to be 18 years or older. Gila County opened its vaccine stocks two weeks ago in part because it has one of the lowest used dose rates in the state, CBS reports. Health officials also received approval from Arizona last week to administer vaccines at a self-service clinic. “Before that, we were struggling to find enough people to schedule appointments,” said Michael O’Driscoll, the county’s director of public health. “So the state gave me permission to offer it to any resident 18 years of age or older.” A county survey had shown that half of the population of 56,000 would be vaccinated if possible; About a quarter of residents have now received at least one vaccine.

Officials have now also begun offering vaccinations to everyone who works in the small county east of Phoenix, according to CNN. A strong communication effort to let people know that vaccines were available, essentially treating the pandemic like a raging fire, worked well, authorities said. “What we did was prepare for the pandemic exactly as we would during our fire season,” O’Driscoll said. “We set up our incident command very similar to that.” People from various communities and county departments helped bring the vaccine to residents. A nursing official at the Cobre Regional Medical Center said there is still a lack of enthusiasm among young people, especially, for getting vaccinated, which she said could hamper efforts to achieve herd immunity. Gila County reported 3,885 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 154 deaths as of Thursday. (Read more stories about the coronavirus vaccine.)

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