By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times
Arizonans in the highest priority categories of risk or need could get their first doses of COVID-19 vaccine in two weeks.
But they won’t be risk-free for weeks after that. And it won’t be until summer or early fall before everyone who wants to get inoculated will be able to do so.
State Health Director Cara Christ on Friday laid out the preliminary schedule for when vaccines will be delivered to health care providers and others. She figures the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine could be administered as early as Dec. 15.
That first group, though, is going to be limited to about 383,750 people. That, said Christ, is what she figures Arizona will get as its share of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines — assuming both are given final approval this month by the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use — based on the fact that Arizona’s population is about 2% of the nation.
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And within that group, look for health care workers to be the first with their arms out, particularly those who are working directly with patients. They will get about the first 184,000, with another 70,000 for home health aides, nursing assistants and medical assistants.
After them come residents of skilled nursing facilities and independent and assisted living centers. That’s another 122,000.