PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Health Services has announced that the state is expected to receive at least 383,000 vaccine doses for the coronavirus by the end of the year.
In a statement released Wednesday, officials say the first shipment of vaccines is expected to arrive in Arizona the week of December 13.
Maricopa and Pima counties will be the first to receive vaccines, with Maricopa receiving 47,000 doses and Pima receiving 11,000, according to state health officials.
In the next week, vaccine doses will be distributed to all 15 counties, at least four tribes, and the CDC’s Pharmacy Partnership program for vaccination at skilled nursing facilities.
According to ADHS, Arizona's COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan “prioritizes health care workers, residents of long-term care facilities, educators and vulnerable populations.”
While Maricopa County will receive 47,000 doses of the vaccine, that is not nearly enough to cover the 123,000 people that make up “Group 1A” within the county. Group 1A is defined as “frontline healthcare workers, including Emergency Medical Services, who are at the highest risk of exposure, as well as residents of long-term care facilities,” according to the Maricopa County Health Department.
The goal is to complete vaccination on all of that first group by early 2021, after which health officials hope to expand access to the vaccine significantly.
News of the vaccine shipments come as Pima county hospitals announce that they are implementing a surge plan as their beds are at capacity, and they are halting elective surgeries.