PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Governor Doug Ducey announced Monday that COVID-19 vaccines will be available to Arizonans 16 and older starting Wednesday, March 24.
Ducey made the announcement on Twitter, saying vaccines for those 16 and older will be distributed for Arizona's state-operated sites in Maricopa, Pima, and Yuma counties.
A few hours later, it was announced that Maricopa County would adopt the same prioritization as the state, and would also open vaccine appointments to more age groups.
County sites will offer appointments to all residents aged 18 and older for those receiving the Moderna and Janssen vaccine, and 16 and older for the those receiving the Pfizer vaccine, per the vaccine FDA Emergency Use Authorizations.
While Biden said people should be able to gather in time to celebrate the Fourth of July together, Gov. Doug Ducey said he believes such gatherings could happen sooner.
"Our goal has been and remains to get vaccine into the community as quickly, widely and equitably as possible. Given a thorough review of vaccination data, anticipated vaccine supply, and current demand among prioritized groups, now is the time to take this critical next step."
As of Monday morning, 2,904,159 does of the COVID-19 vaccine to 1,831,456 individuals have been administered including 1,136,413 who are fully vaccinated.
“We anticipate more and more vaccine reaching Arizona heading into April, making it possible now to expand prioritization,” said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. “We have been flexible and nimble throughout, while expanding the availability of state sites to vaccinate large numbers of people rapidly.”
State health officials reported Friday that they've seen a downward trend in COVID-19 numbers for the past 10 weeks.
ADHS now opens appointments at 11 a.m. each Friday for State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona State University’s Phoenix Municipal Stadium in Tempe, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, the University of Arizona in central Tucson, and Yuma Civic Center in Yuma County.
#UPDATE: Registration at Arizona’s state-operated COVID-19 vaccination sites will be open to all Arizonans 16 and older beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday, March 24. Details here: https://t.co/Y4F61egYJF #RollUpYourSleeve pic.twitter.com/9ydIwCsDjc— AZ Dept of Health (@AZDHS) March 22, 2021
As of Tuesday, March 23, there are roughly 34,200 appointments still available for this week (through Sunday) at state-run vaccination sites. They are currently available to those aged 55 and older. At 8 a.m. on Wednesday, March 24, what remains of those appointments for this week will be available to all.
ADHS plans to make around 80,000 first-dose appointments available at 11 a.m. the following Friday, March 26 for state sites, including the new state site in Yuma.
Information about all 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.
The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 820 new coronavirus cases Friday morning, Arizona's statewide total is now at 867,443 cases.