With Pinal County continuing to experience a shortage of the COVID-19 vaccine, the board of supervisors on Wednesday voted unanimously to authorize Chairman Stephen Miller to write to state and federal representatives requesting an increase in doses allocated to the county.
“Our public health department and community partners are primed and ready to escalate our vaccination efforts tomorrow but we need significantly more vaccines than we are currently receiving. So I am appealing to the relevant authorities — state and federal — to get them to us here in Pinal County so that we can vaccinate and protect our residents,” Mr. Miller said in a release.
After receiving an initial allocation of 10,000 doses, subsequent weekly allocations declined to 2,000 and 1,800 respectively. Only 2,000 doses are slated in the next allocation, part of which has arrived to date, according to the release.
The county has worked with 14 community partners to vaccinate as quickly and efficiently as possible. This allowed the county to be the first in the Arizona to move from the 1A group health care workers to the 1B group — over 75 years old, law enforcement, teachers, critical workers, the release states.
However, with the 1A and 1B groups estimated to be 75,662, and the county having only received 14,800 vaccines to date, the county is a long way from being able to meet demand for these groups, let alone the remaining adult population of Pinal County.
Late Wednesday, Arizona Department of Health Services announced it is adding the 65-and-over population to the 1B group, which will significantly increase the number of those eligible to be vaccinated at this time, the release states.
The county has added 12 partners, bringing the total to 26 community partners, all ready to vaccinate Pinal County residents.
“Our residents are understandably frustrated at not being able to get an appointment to be vaccinated. Many of them, especially in the over-75 demographic, are scared to leave their homes until they can be vaccinated since COVID is having such a devastating impact on that age-group,” Supervisors Chairman Miller said in the release.