Vaccine supply shortage: No new appointments available at local POD sites
26 more COVID-19 cases, 4 additional deaths reported in Yavapai County overnight
Updated as of Wednesday, February 3, 2021 8:38 PM
Because of a shortage of Moderna vaccine doses, no new vaccination appointments are currently available at local large Points of Distribution or POD sites.
As county health officials continue to cajole with state and federal agencies to provide more doses, Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Chairman Craig Brown issued a statement to assure residents the county is doing all it can to move the effort forward.
"Yavapai County Community Health Services (YCCHS) Director Leslie Horton has done a tremendous job of working with the Arizona State Department of Health Services to make sure that Yavapai County residents get every opportunity to receive the Covid Vaccine as quickly as possible," Brown said in a statement to the media Wednesday, Feb. 3.
Brown explained that the county is working to complete Phase 1B of the priority vaccination plan, which some estimates place at over 100,000 individuals.
"With support from local pharmacies, the Community Health Services of Yavapai, Yavapai Regional Medical Center, Verde Valley Medical Center, and Spectrum Healthcare Group, multiple Point of Distribution or POD sites have been set up throughout Yavapai County, and are prepared to administer thousands of doses each day," Brown said.
"Prepared to administer" are key words in Brown's statement. The PODs had the steam let out of their engines last week after only a fraction of the county's requested vaccine doses were delivered.
"Each week YCCHS places their order with the state for the Covid Vaccine based on requests from local health providers as well as the large POD sites," Brown explained. "YCCHS placed an order for nearly 23,000 doses this past Wednesday and was informed that they would only be receiving about 10% of the requested amount. While the state’s allocation remains the same the number of organizations pulling from that supply has continued to increase."
NO NEW POD APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME
In the statement, the county explained that Brown and Horton are working hard with other legislative and state elected officials to obtain additional doses and move any available vaccines that were allocated to Yavapai County to the large POD sites as well as regularly requesting additional doses of the vaccine from State Health Services.
"Unfortunately, at this time, there are no available [new] appointments at the large POD events. We encourage everyone in the 1B group to continue to monitor Yavapai.US/CHS website for COVID-19 vaccine updates and veterans to contact the VA," Brown said.
The Biden administration said Tuesday it will begin shipping COVID-19 vaccines to U.S. pharmacies next week, ramping up vaccinations as new and potentially more serious virus strains are appearing.
Retail pharmacies, including Fry’s and Safeway, have reportedly been receiving some separate allocations from the state, but it’s unclear whether there with be adequate supply to meet the immediate demand.
Even if you have received your vaccine it is important to continue to follow CDC guidelines by staying home when sick, wear a mask in public, physically distance when you can, and wash your hands often, county health officials urged.
NEW STATE-RUN POD ANNOUNCED IN PHOENIX
As Yavapai county struggles with a shortage of vaccine doses, Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) announced it is opening a new state-run vaccination site at Arizona State University’s Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
In a Tuesday news release, ADHS said it is opening up registration at the new site for 21,000 more appointments for prioritized Arizonans starting Wednesday, Feb. 3.
"These 21,000 appointments are now available thanks to vaccine supply identified because of Governor Ducey’s Executive Order last week," Gov. Doug Ducey's office said. "Appointments will be available from Friday, Feb. 5 through Thursday, Feb. 18, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Those who receive their first vaccinations at State Farm Stadium or Phoenix Municipal Stadium will have a guaranteed appointment for second doses at the same vaccination site."
Last week, Ducey issued Executive Order 2021-01 requiring all vaccine providers that have received more than 1,000 doses and had over 40% of those doses remaining unused to submit a plan to ADHS. Plans submitted by counties and health care providers identified available doses of the Pfizer vaccine and allowed ADHS to open up additional appointments at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
Arizonans registering for the Phoenix area PODs can use the state’s vaccine registration website at podvaccine.azdhs.gov. Information about all the vaccination sites across Arizona can be found at azhealth.gov/findvaccine. Those without computer access or needing extra help registering can call 1-844-542-8201 to be connected with an operator who can assist.
ANOTHER VACCINE COMING
Johnson & Johnson has announced it will apply to the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization for its Janssen vaccine this week. If approved as expected, the additional vaccine could start to be used in the United States sometime later this month or early in March, though the company is not expected to be able to supply substantial numbers of doses until April. The Janssen vaccine hasn’t yet been through the regulatory process, so it’s too early to say what the FDA and the CDC will recommend.
The Johnson & Johnson one-dose Janssen vaccine was shown to be 66% protective against moderate to severe COVID infections overall from 28 days after injection. The vaccine was 72% protective in the United States, and 85% protective against severe disease. The most common side effects are injection site pain, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, and joint pain, the company reports.
YCCHS reported 26 new cases of COVID-19 and four more confirmed deaths overnight, according to a news release Wednesday, Feb. 3.
Since the start of the pandemic, the county has tested 95,620 residents with 16,703 positive cases, 6,925 recovered, and 386 deaths.
YRMC West has 34 COVID-19 patients, YRMC East is caring for eight patients. VVMC in Cottonwood reports 16 COVID-19 hospitalizations. The Prescott VA reports one COVID-19 patient.
LOCAL COVID-19 INFORMATION
• For Yavapai County COVID-19 vaccine information: https://www.yavapai.us/chs/Home/COVID-19/Vaccine.
• Yavapai Emergency Phone Bank for COVID-19 Info: 928-442-5103 – Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• For a COVID-19 test at Community Health Center of Yavapai, call 928-583-1000. For a flu shot, call 928-771-3122.
• COVID-19 information en español: https://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/infectious-disease-epidemiology/es/covid-19/index.php#novel-coronavirus-home.
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