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Mon, May 10

Pharmacies, 55-plus ease into COVID vaccinations

The Prescott Valley CVS was giving COVID vaccine shots on Sunday. The Walgreens in Cottonwood was accepting appointments for COVID shots also. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

The Prescott Valley CVS was giving COVID vaccine shots on Sunday. The Walgreens in Cottonwood was accepting appointments for COVID shots also. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

VERDE VALLEY - Yavapai County Community Health Services will now vaccinate residents who are eligible in Phase 1C, which includes adults who are 55-and-older, adults of any age with high-risk medical conditions and adults living in congregate settings.

“Yavapai County has vaccinated 24.5% of the population, administering close to 97,000 doses of vaccine and 41,000 residents fully vaccinated and all partners feel confident moving to this next phase,” explained the YCCHS daily COVID report Tuesday.

Previously, Yavapai County was in Phase 1B, which included adults 65 and over and essential service workers.

Gov. Doug Ducey announced on March 1 that Arizonans 55 and older would be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine shots.

The Arizona Department of Health Services stipulated that local health departments move into the 55-plus age category when they reach 55% vaccinations of the 65-plus category, according to Teri Farneti, YCCHS spokesperson.

Tuesday, Yavapai County reached 55%, according to its website.

Both Spectrum Healthcare and the Yavapai Regional Medical Center have appointments available for both first- and second-dose appointments this week, YCCHS said.

YCCHS is working with Spectrum Healthcare with its mass-vaccinations station in Cottonwood and Prescott.

Spectrum Healthcare alone has administered close to 45,000 COVID-19 vaccines at their vaccination stations in Prescott Valley and Cottonwood.

At the same time, more large pharmacies are also beginning to offer COVID vaccination shots and people can sign up on their national sites.

CVS Pharmacy in Prescott Valley administered shots to customers over 55-years-old on Sunday.

Monday, the Walgreens website stated that the COVID vaccine was available in Cottonwood and was accepting appointments from eligible people, including those over 55, for COVID-vaccination appointments.

CVS becomes vaccine site

Sunday, the greeting card aisle at the CVS Pharmacy in Prescott Valley was turned into a COVID-vaccination-station recovery-area.

A row of black chairs were perfectly lined down the aisle with digital timers ticking off 15-minute increments. CVS didn’t want anyone leaving if they were feeling ill after their shot.

About 10 people, mostly elderly, mingled at the front of the store waiting to get their shots. Chairs were provided, but many opted to stand in the chocolate, liquor and cosmetics aisles.

A pharmacist and a nurse gave the Pfizer COVID vaccine shots to customers while he was shielded behind screens set up near the entrance of the store.

A woman with a clipboard greeted people at the door and checked their appointment times which had to be made at CVS.com.

Most CVS pharmacies in Arizona were either booked Sunday or not on the list of vaccination sites.

The Sedona and Prescott Valley stores are on the COVID vaccine sites at CVS.com. Prescott was taking appointments Sunday and Monday, but Sedona was not taking appointments. Cottonwood was not on the CVS.com list as a COVID vaccination site.

Farneti said that the YCCHS phone-bank volunteers check the links to the pharmacies for availability, but “it has been a slow roll out of vaccine into our county pharmacies.”

Farneti said they heard that the CVS in Prescott Valley may have appointments available through next week.

The YCCHS does not distribute the vaccine to the pharmacies, she said. “The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program allocates the vaccine to the pharmacies, and it seems that more pharmacies have been receiving the vaccine.”

Pharmacies are listed on the YCCHS Pharmacy Information page: https://www.yavapai.us/chs/Home/COVID-19/Vaccine.

COVID-19 YCCNS Vaccine Info and Appointment Availability: https://www.yavapai.us/chs/Home/COVID-19/Vaccine

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