Last week Gila County began to vaccinate “Phase 1” recipients after receiving the region’s first allotment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Initial shipments were sent directly to facilities that had been pre-approved through an application process to receive and dispense the vaccine. These include regional hospitals as well as some private and public agencies.
The federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has published extensive recommendations for a phased approach for vaccine delivery within Gila County over the next several months. The Arizona Department of Health Services and Gila County will be following the recommendations established by the CDC. Due to the limited supply of vaccine, vaccination efforts will be highly targeted to protect the most vulnerable populations in Gila County. Phase 1 is divided into three sub-phases. Phase 1A prioritizes front-line health care workers, emergency medical service workers, and long-term care facility staff and residents. Phase 1B groups include adults in congregate settings, law enforcement, teachers and child care workers, and essential services/critical industry workers.
Phase 1C includes any adults aged 65 and older, and adults of any age with high-risk medical conditions.
Phase 1 is expected to be completed by mid-spring of 2021. Phase 2 will continue efforts to vaccinate high-risk individuals, while expanding to the general population. Phase 3 will incorporate all previous priority populations and serve the general population.
Additional information about the phased approach to providing the vaccine can be found on the page titled “How the CDC is Making COVID-19 Vaccine Recommendations” at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations-process.html