This Arizona county is giving out COVID-19 vaccine doses to anyone over 18
One Arizona county decided to release the COVID-19 vaccine to anyone older than 18, instead of having age restrictions to start
Officials in Gila County, Arizona, were concerned that there weren’t enough people signing up to get the COVID-19 vaccine — so they opened it up to everyone.
- Arizona approved the decision on Feb. 17, CNN reports.
Officials in Gila County, Arizona, recently told CNN that people weren’t really signing up for the COVID-19 vaccine. So, rather than letting the vaccines go to waste, the officials opened up the eligibility to anyone over 18 to encourage more people to get vaccinated.
- “We were struggling to find folks within the 65 plus category to sign up for the vaccine,” Michael O’Driscoll, Gila’s director of health and emergency management, told CNN.
Officials said the new round of vaccinations has been successful because of proper messaging to the people.
- “What we did was we set up the pandemic exactly like what we would do during our fire season,” O’Driscoll said. “We set up our incident command very similar to that.”
As I wrote about, the county has had to manage disasters in the past, especially wildfires, which made it easy to get the word out about the vaccine.
- “We’re a fairly rural county, and we get significant weather events, mostly wildfires,” said Rich Elliott, the deputy fire chief of Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue, according to CNN. “Our county has a 25-year history of just sort of everybody — the hospital, the school districts, law enforcement, fire agencies, federal state partners — we just cooperate.”
Per Bloomberg’s COVID-19 tracker, the U.S. has administered 82.6 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. There have been 2.04 million doses given out per day over the last week.