PHOENIX — Could Arizona reach herd immunity against COVID-19 by August 23? It’s possible, if vaccination numbers stay consistent week to week.
ABC15 data analyst Garrett Archer has spent the past year tracking key data points — first tracking the number of COVID-19 tests performed, to the number of cases, and then eventually vaccination numbers. The latest data focus for Archer and the ABC15 team will be tracking herd immunity and when we can get there.
Herd immunity is a point when most of our population is protected from COVID-19, whether via antibodies from being infected or via vaccinations.
As of the first week of May, 50.1% of people who are eligible in Arizona have received the first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.
WHEN WILL WE REACH HERD IMMUNITY?
As of right now, Arizona is doing around 85,000 vaccines a week. If the state stays at that number each week, 75% of Arizonans would have their first dose of a vaccine shot by August 23.
Recent vaccination data shows that Arizona is no longer increasing vaccinations daily, but rather stalling.
The August date could change though, due to a number of factors: if the vaccines become approved for children ages 12 to 15, then more people will become eligible, and if the FDA converts the vaccines from an emergency use authorization to a full authorization that could have a big impact on the number of people who are willing to go and get the vaccine.
On Friday, the Arizona Department of Health Services announced in a press release that more than 3 million people in Arizona are now vaccinated against COVID-19.
“We know through rigorous trials and federal reviews that each COVID-19 vaccine is safe and extremely effective at preventing serious cases and deaths,” said ADHS Director Dr. Cara Christ. “What we are still learning is the long-term health effects on those among those who recover from severe cases of COVID-19, including young people. It’s a mistake to assume you are safe just because the percentages show you at lower risk of severe outcomes from coronavirus.”
Track COVID-19 vaccination and case statistics in our interactive map below.