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Pima County expands COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, determined by age, occupation, risk

Pfizer Vaccine / File Image
Pfizer Vaccine / File Image(HNN)
Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 12:33 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Starting Thursday, March 25 at 9 a.m., Pima County will expand current COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to include anyone over the age of 55, over 16 and at risk of a medical condition, and those who are over 16 who are essential qualified workers.

The three major groups are based on the following criteria:

  1. AGE – anyone over age 55, regardless of other health conditions or type of employment.
  2. RISK – anyone over age 16 who has a disability OR is experiencing homelessness OR lives in a congregate setting/receives in-home or long-term care OR has a high-risk medical condition as defined by the Centers for Disease Control:
    Cancer
    Chronic kidney disease
    COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
    Downs syndrome
    Heart conditions (including heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies)
    Immunocompromised state aka weakened immune system, from solid organ transplant
    Obesity (Body Max Index (BMI) over 30 kg/m2 or higher or < 40 kg/m2)
    Severe obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2)
    Sickle cell disease
    Smoking
    Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  3. WORK – anyone over age 16 who works in the following fields, regardless of other health conditions:
    Healthcare worker and healthcare support
    Emergency medical services
    Long-term care facility staff
    In-home long-term care
    Protective services
    Education and childcare
    Food and agriculture
    Restaurants and bars
    U.S. Postal Service
    Manufacturing
    Grocery and convenience stores (including carnicerias)
    State and local government
    Public transportation (buses, light rail, Uber, Lyft, taxis, etc.)
    Auto repair
    Business/financial services
    Clergy/faith leaders/ traditional healers
    Court personnel
    Critical trade (plumber, electrician, HVAC, etc.)
    Food packaging
    Funeral services
    Gas stations
    Power/utility
    Shelters
    Warehouse distribution
    Veterinarians and veterinary staff

Governor Doug Ducey announced March 22 that Arizona would open COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all residents 16 and older starting March 24.

”We realize that this is not fully aligned with what Governor Ducey announced earlier this week; however, our decisions are based on the current vaccination rates for 55 and up (which is at 42%), as well as our commitment to ensure ongoing access to vulnerable populations, said Dr. Theresa Cullen, Health Department Director. “We anticipate appointments will be filled quickly and as we move these groups, we look forward to being able to align with the states recommendations within the next 6 weeks.”

Currently, most appointments set for the large County-supported vaccination sites will be for mid-late April 2021.

”We continue to push forward vaccinations at a rapid pace,” said Cullen. “We know this expansion includes several thousand people who have eagerly awaited their turn, and we are grateful for their enthusiasm to not only get their vaccine, but also their continued mask-wearing and physical distancing as well.”

As of March 23, more than 400,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Pima County, and 200,000 people have been fully vaccinated. The County has surpassed its goal of administering 300,000 doses by the end of March.

For all of the registration options in Pima County or to get more information about who is currently eligible for an appointment, visit www.pima.gov/covid19vaccine.

To schedule an appointment at the State supported vaccination site, visit Arizona Department of Health Service portal to schedule an appointment, https://podvaccine.azdhs.gov/

For questions about registration or help with the registration process, you can also call Pima County Health Department’s registration support line at 520-222-0119, Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. - 8 p.m. and Saturday – Sunday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

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