Coconino County supervisors confirmed the county is fully booked for Phase 1b COVID-19 vaccinations for essential workers and adults 65 and older.
During the Jan. 25 Facebook livestream, District 1 supervisor Patrice Horstman said the registration for Phase 1b vaccinations sold out quickly because the demand for vaccinations exceeded the amount of vaccines Coconino County received from the state.
Coconino County does not have a confirmed date for when more vaccines will arrive.
“We are committed to making sure every individual in Coconino County 16 [years] or older that wants a vaccine will get one,” Horstman said.
District 5 supervisor Lena Fowler said areas serviced by Banner Health and Canyonlands are also fully booked for vaccination appointments, and advised residents of the Navajo Nation to go to the nearest hospital for vaccinations.
Fowler said Coconino County is coordinating with tribal councils and meeting regularly to discuss the vaccination processes surrounding Indigenous land.
“We have all the plans ready,” Fowler said. “We are just waiting for more vaccines to come in.”
Human services director for Coconino County, Kim Musselman, said federal and state allocation of vaccines is considered by county population, and there must be an increase in production on a federal level in order to have enough vaccines distributed to Arizona to meet Coconino County’s demand.
She said Coconino County received enough vaccinations for 13.5% of the population for Phase one. The county received 14,475 vaccines and has so far administered 12,140. The remainder of these 2,335 vaccines have been reserved for appointments.
Musselman confirmed that Coconino County has started to receive the second dose of the vaccine for those who have already taken the first dose, and the state is making plans to open more vaccination locations.
The Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care Program, a federal program providing vaccines to local pharmacies, identified 58 pharmacies in Arizona to begin allocating vaccines. These local pharmacies include locations such as Walmart, Walgreens and Safeway.
“We have pharmacies available in almost all of our small towns and rural communities,” Musselman said.
The Safeway on Cedar Avenue has been accepted as an additional vaccination location in Flagstaff for future COVID-19 vaccinations.
Musselman said Coconino County has applied for a grant that would pay for a mobile vaccination unit, such as a van, to drive to smaller areas within the county and provide vaccinations to rural areas.
With all these plans processing, Horstman said patience is a necessity.
“There will be some missteps along the way, but we are doing all we can to get this vaccine out,” Horstman expressed.
Coconino County residents can call the COVID-19 information line at (928) 679-7300 for more information or visit the website.
Musselman advised everyone to mask up and be vigilant, even after receiving a vaccine.
She also told viewers, “The key to Flagstaff’s recovery is continuing staying home, washing hands, socially distancing, wearing face masks and contacting state representatives to express the need for more vaccinations.”