KNAU's Morning Rundown: Monday, February 8
AZ Leaders Ask For More Vaccine Supply
Arizona leaders including Gov. Doug Ducey are asking the federal government to allocate more COVID-19 vaccine supply to the state. Ducey says his request for additional doses was denied from the federal government, and last week asked Arizona’s congressional delegates to advocate for vaccination efforts.
U.S. Rep. Greg Stanton, along with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and Sen. Mark Kelly expressed support for more vaccine supply.
“My state is hurting,” Stanton wrote in a letter to federal officials, requesting an emergency allocation of 300,000 doses. “Arizonans have been forced to wait for hours online or by phone to book vaccination appointments.
Arizona opened another mass vaccination site last Monday at the Phoenix Municipal Stadium, but Ducey says the site can only administer 500 doses each day due to limited supply.
Health officials opened 21,000 new vaccination appointments last week — the appointments were filled within the hour. As of Saturday, 861,886 doses have been administered statewide, according to AZDHS.
Mohave County Extends Prioritization For Older Residents
Mohave County officials say they’ll continue to prioritize COVID-19 vaccinations for residents 75 and older for at least the next week. Officials said Friday they’ll be vaccinating older residents, along with protective service and healthcare workers, before moving on to vaccinate education and childcare workers. The county released a statement noting its high population of residents 75 and older, and a limited supply of doses. Officials say they’ll monitor the vaccination process on a weekly basis before transitioning to additional groups. Mohave County has used nearly 70% of its vaccine allocation, administering 15,551 doses as of Saturday, AZDHS reports.
A recent investigation from the Arizona Republic found senior citizens across the state face roadblocks in receiving the COVID-19 vaccines due to technological difficulties — and, in some cases, a lack of internet access. The research site Broadband Now estimates only 86.9% of Arizonans have access to broadband internet faster than 100 mbps or faster.
Gila County Progresses To Phase 1C
Gila County officials announced the community will administer COVID-19 vaccines for the 1C category starting today. County officials say the 1C phase will include adults 65 and older. One healthcare provider in Globe and three in Payson are currently administering the vaccine, though one clinic is currently booked through the month of February and is set to open appointments for March. State data shows Gila County had administered 7,507 total doses as of Saturday, using up 72% of its available vaccine supply.
U.S. Forest Service Hiring For Forest Management
The United States Forest Service plans to hire about 50 people to join the Southwestern Region in fire management. A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture says applicants will be hired to work in both permanent and seasonal positions throughout Arizona, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Officials say positions will include Hotshot squad members and fire prevention technicians among others. Applications for the season will close tomorrow.