Top state health official unsure Arizona will meet vaccination threshold

Dr. Cara Christ/ Capitol Media Services 2020 file photo by Howard Fischer

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services

The state’s top health official said Arizona may not meet the president’s goal of getting 70% of residents vaccinated against the coronavirus by July 4.

“Historically, Arizona has had pockets of vaccine hesitancy,even before COVID-19,” said Dr. Cara Christ. “That kind of sets a baseline.”

At the same time, she said, there has been a sharp decline in the number of vaccines being administered.

“A lot of Arizonans are independent,” Christ said. “They want to make these decisions on their own.”

Her prime weapon, she said, is getting out information about the vaccines, how it’s safe, effective and free. And Christ said she still believes that Arizona can get to 70% — eventually.

Some of it, she said, are the “wait and see” crowd who are sitting on the sidelines, waiting for some specific reason to get inoculated and watching for reports of side effects.

“But if there was an uptick in cases, maybe those wait-and-see would be, ‘All right, maybe I’m not going to wait and see any more, I’m going to get vaccinated,’ “ Christ said.

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