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Coconino County sees high demand for COVID-19 vaccine
Priority populations within Phase 1b continue to receive vaccinations through Coconino County

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Six hours after Coconino County moved to allowing priority populations within Phase 1b to make COVID-19 vaccination appointments at its Fort Tuthill vaccination site on Jan. 8, all 1,600 available appointments were booked.


COVID-19 testing in Williams Jan. 15

Coconino County will offer COVID-19 testing in Williams Jan. 15 from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Williams Elementary-Middle School parking lot, 601 N. Seventh Street.

COVID-19 nasopharyngeal swab and saliva-based testing will be available. Test results are provided within 48-72 hours from the time specimens arrive at the lab.

Advanced registration is required for saliva-based testing. Saliva-based testing for those without an appointment will be available as lab capacity allows. Please abstain from food or drink for 30 minutes prior to saliva testing.

Testing is free of charge and is offered in partnership with Arizona State University.

More information or to register for saliva-based testing is available at www.coconino.az.gov/covid19.

On Jan, 12, the Trump administration announced its plan to release additional doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to states instead of withholding the second dose as had been done previously.

The United States Department of Health and Human Services is now urging states to expand vaccinations to everyone age 65 and older to vaccinate more people immediately.

Coconino County Health and Human Services (CCHHS) and vaccination partner organizations stated they are working to ensure the swift administration of the available COVID-19 vaccine and said the community continues to demonstrate a high level of interest in getting vaccinated; however, the available supply of COVID-19 vaccine remains limited.

“After allowing Phase 1a eligible individuals to schedule their vaccination appointments, more than 1,500 slots remained available for first doses," said Interim Director of Health and Human Services Kim Musselman. "Coconino County made the strategic decision to move to priority populations within Phase 1b to ensure (the) vaccine is being used rather than allowing precious doses to wait in a freezer. While I know it is frustrating for those who want a vaccine but were unable to book an appointment, there will be additional opportunities to receive a vaccination soon when more supplies become available."

Although the release of additional vaccine will result in increased future allocations, Coconino County continues to have limited supplies of COVID-19 vaccine at this time.

As a result, the county will continue to offer vaccines to those identified in the current phased vaccine distribution plan.

When the Arizona Department of Health Services, specifically the Vaccine and Antiviral Prioritization Advisory Committee (VAPAC), revises their guidance and more vaccine doses become available, priority groups will be added such as those 65 years and older. Coconino County is required to follow the guidance of the Arizona Department of Health Services and is currently awaiting additional information.

“At this time, direction and allocation of doses has not yet changed. We are monitoring the situation closely,” said Interim Director of Health and Human Services Kim Musselman. “Coconino County’s goal is to provide COVID-19 vaccination to anyone who is interested as soon as large enough quantities of vaccine are available.”

Individuals who qualify for the current Phase 1a and priority populations within Phase 1b eligibility are encouraged to check the county’s COVID-19 vaccine webpage at coconino.az.gov/covid19vaccine frequently as appointments could become available if cancellations occur. Links to partner COVID-19 vaccination sites are included and may have appointment availability.

The Arizona Department of Health Services recently announced the opening of a vaccination site at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. All eligible Arizona Phase 1a and 1b priority individuals can schedule an appointment at the Statewide Vaccination Site at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, regardless of county of residence. Registration is available at https://podvaccine.azdhs.gov/.

Vaccine supplies are being allocated to ensure availability of second doses. Those seeking second doses of COVID-19 vaccine should seek vaccination at the same site where they received the first dose.

Instructions for registering for second dose appointments are provided during an individual’s first vaccine appointment.

Individuals without internet access and those age 75 years and older who require assistance with registration can call the COVID-19 Information Line at 928-679-7300.

“I understand the frustration being expressed by members of our community. The Board of Supervisors is actively advocating for additional vaccine so that we can get doses in as many arms as possible, as quickly as possible. We are all eager to return to normalcy and we know that the vaccine can help us get there. I ask the residents of Coconino County for patience as we await additional supply and on-board partners to operate vaccine sites,” said Coconino County Chairman Matt Ryan.

The community is encouraged to check Coconino County’s vaccine webpage at coconino.az.gov/covid19vaccine for updates.

More information about Coconino County’s phased vaccination plan is available at coconino.az.gov/covid19vaccine.

Information provided by Coconino County

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