PHOENIX — One million Arizonans are now fully vaccinated as the state continues to move through an age-based system.
Coconino County announced Tuesday those 35+ as well as people with underlying health conditions are now eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I made it 365 days without getting sick and every day was a fight,” said Raymond Sorenson.
Sorenson works at a Valley group home. As an essential worker, he’s received the COVID vaccine, but as a former Fry’s employee, he’s thinking of his former colleagues.
“I can just imagine being around hundreds and hundreds of people every day, it’s got to be taxing on your psyche,” said Sorenson.
While the state announced nearly a month ago grocery workers are now at the top of the list to get the shot, many still haven’t.
“They should be getting that vaccine honestly, it’s important, they’re important,” said Sorenson.
According to an internal email to Fry's employees, their time has finally come. The email advises employees to begin signing up to get the vaccine on the Kroger website or state and county websites if they fall into the age-based groups. Once vaccinated, the company is giving employees a $100 bonus.
Employees say Fry’s stores are offering the vaccine to the public and are working to vaccinate store employees as well, even offering shots at the end of the day if leftover vaccines are available.
Safeway stores are working to do the same once they receive supply. Employees say each store is using a sign-up sheet to register for a shot once it arrives.
In a statement from Maricopa County, mass events for grocery employees are on the horizon as well.
“Maricopa County is working with large grocery chains to create vaccination opportunities specifically for these workers, which includes larger sites providing vaccines to employees of many stores, including small and independent stores.”
When those events are taking place has yet to be announced. But the fact they’re around the corner should give reprieve to the many workers who’ve continued to risk their own health, in order to keep the communities shelves and shopping carts full.