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Can Arizona meet President Biden’s goal of vaccinating 70% of the population?

COVID-19 vaccines
Posted at 9:34 PM, Jun 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-05 00:34:16-04

PHOENIX — The state’s top public health director says Arizona might be one of the states that will help reach President Joe Biden’s goal of vaccinating 70% of Americans by July 4.

President Biden is launching a "Month of Action" to increase vaccination rates across the country, but here in Arizona if vaccination rates continue where they are now, ABC15’s data expert says it would take until around October to hit that 70% goal. However, that could quickly change if the demand for vaccines goes up.

The Biden administration's "Month of Action" is a series of programs designed to encourage Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19 ahead of the July 4 goal to have 70% of adults partially vaccinated. The administration previewed several of these new programs this week that include incentives like free beer, free childcare and longer pharmacy hours.

As of Friday, the number stands at 63% with a month to go. About 136 million or so Americans are considered fully vaccinated.

“We know that there’s a lot of misperceptions out about the vaccine, we know there’s a lot of people who are hesitant, and want to see who has taken the vaccine and see how it turns out for them before they get it,” said Dr. Cara Christ.

Christ emphasized that she’d love to hit that 70% goal by July 4, but says her agency will continue to work on increasing vaccination rates regardless.

“Historically, Arizona has had pockets of vaccine hesitancy even before COVID-19 so I think that set a baseline,” said Christ.

To increase vaccination rates, ADHS is shifting its vaccine strategy from state-run large vaccination sites to community-focused pop-up events.

All state-run vaccination sites are expected to close on or before Monday, June 28, ADHS said.

Saturday, June 5, will be the last day that people can receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine -- state sites only have Pfizer -- and the last day to schedule their second dose.

The state is sharing its latest vaccine schedule at state-run POD locations:

AZ vaccination site schedule June 2021.png

Along with a focus on pop-up events, Dr. Christ said they’re working to add more providers to the vaccine list.

As of right now, there are at least 1,600 providers giving the shots, and that does not include pharmacies.