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Tue, April 13

Governor approves 55-plus vaccine category; Yavapai County will have to wait

Gov. Doug Ducey announced Monday that Arizonans 55 and older will be eligible COVID-19 vaccine shots, but Yavapai County will have to wait to move up to that phase. Capitol Media Services file photo

Gov. Doug Ducey announced Monday that Arizonans 55 and older will be eligible COVID-19 vaccine shots, but Yavapai County will have to wait to move up to that phase. Capitol Media Services file photo

YAVAPAI COUNTY - Gov. Doug Ducey announced Monday that Arizonans 55 and older will be eligible COVID-19 vaccine shots, but Yavapai County will have to wait to move up to that phase.

The Arizona Department of Health Services stipulated that local health departments move into the 55-plus age category when the reach 55% vaccinations of the 65-plus category, according to Teri Farneti, spokesperson for the Yavapai County Community Health Services on Tuesday.

“Yavapai County is currently estimated at 44% of the 65-plus category,” Farneti said.  “ADHS will be monitoring each county’s percentage rates via their dashboard, and Yavapai County will begin moving into the 55-plus age group at that time.”

Ducey said his new “hybrid approach,” which will also include frontline essential workers, launches Tuesday in the Phoenix metro area.

“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,” explained Ducey’s website. 

Farneti said Yavapai County is getting ready to receive a small allocation of the newly approved Johnson and Johnson vaccine. “We will be deciding how to utilize those best in our communities.” 

So far, Yavapai County has only received the Moderna vaccine.

“The FDA indicated that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is overall safe and highly effective against serious illness at 86%,” she said.

“At this point decisions haven’t been made for the initial 1,800 doses the county will receive,” Farneti said.  “The current points of dispensing in the county will be offering only the Moderna vaccine.” 

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