TUCSON, Ariz. — With talks of opening up vaccine eligibility to the general public soon federal and state officials are hoping for a return to normalcy by mid-summer.
“We anticipate that we will be on track to met President Biden’s goal of having the population eligible for vaccine by May,” said Dr. Cara Christ, the ADHS health director.
President Joe Biden announced Thursday, all Americans should be eligible for vaccinations by May 1st; which then puts the country on a path to normalcy by Independence Day.
Christ said with the current vaccine supply and with the state’s new hybrid vaccination prioritization model, it’ll take us three to four weeks to move through each age group which puts us in line with Biden’s plan.
“County’s are able to move even earlier if 50-60 percent of their age category has been vaccinated or if they notice that demand slows down. Gila County and Greenlee County are already vaccinating their general population,” said Christ.
The new hybrid prioritization combines age groups with essential workers.
Due to population size there will, of course, be variability among the different counties in how fast they move through groups.
“Looking at the numbers that we have, we anticipate though, that we should be able to move the state as a whole along the timeline. So we were anticipating being to 16 and above in May even before the president made that goal,” said Christ.
She says Arizona is on track to opening up more by the time we reach May with its current vaccine allocation. And with word of vaccine supply substantially increasing by April, Christ said Arizona might be ahead of the curve.