PHOENIX – Maricopa County officials said residents eligible for the Phase 1B coronavirus vaccine rollout will be able to book appointments starting Monday, January 11.
This includes K-12 school staff and educators, law enforcement and adults over 75.
Healthcare workers who have not yet received their vaccine during phase 1A will still be able to schedule appointments, but will not have priority over other eligible residents once phase 1B begins on Monday.
Coronavirus in Arizona: Latest case numbers
Officials say appointments will be available at sites that are not already full for second doses to Phase 1A participants, and more will be available once they receive more vaccines.
“As operations ramp up to support Phase 1B vaccination efforts, we anticipate that more vaccination options outside of POD sites will soon be available for priority groups,” officials wrote on the website. Maricopa County. “This can include vaccinations at pharmacies for people aged 75 and over and vaccination events with employers through private vendors.”
Learn more about the Phase 1B deployment: https://www.maricopa.gov/5651/Phase-1B
Teachers also eligible for the vaccine
Teachers are among the next to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Educators in Pinal County were among the first to be able to sign up for a date, and soon, educators in Maricopa County will be able to do the same.
Educators say they are excited and eager to get the vaccine, which they see as an important step not only in protecting themselves from the virus in the classroom, but also a big step towards returning to normal routines.
“To me, it’s the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Kathy Hoffman, Arizona superintendent of public education. “I can’t wait for our educators to get vaccinated so they feel safe to go back to class and go back to school as soon as possible.
“I live in Pinal County, wanted to sign up for their vaccinations, but they filled up so fast,” said Katie Nash, who teaches Chandler. “We will probably crash the website you can sign up for as many people have contacted us thanking us for sharing the link, we’re happy to sign up.”
Nash estimates that about 2/3 of teachers plan to get the vaccine. Nash, who is a science professor, says she knows they will still have to go through mitigation procedures, like wearing masks, even after receiving the vaccine.
“But then we can get back to the fun stuff of group work and labs,” Nash said.
Health workers receive 2nd dose of vaccine
As of Jan. 6, 119,653 people in Arizona have received the vaccine, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. Meanwhile, healthcare workers who received their first dose of the vaccine are now receiving another dose of the vaccine.
National Guard specialist Will Smith, who served for five years, received his second dose of COVID-19 vaccine 21 days after he became one of the first people in the state to get the first round.
“It means a lot of things. First and foremost is patriotism and a responsibility as a father,” Smith said. He went on to say that it was a patriotic duty that will also ensure the safety of his family.
“I’m a year old. My wife is pregnant, so I want to make sure I’m contributing to her health and that of my family in general,” Smith said.
Phoenix Fire Captain Kenny Overton said it was emotional for him to receive his second dose of the vaccine, after his daughter was so excited when he received the first vaccine three weeks ago.
“This is a step towards a return to normalcy,” said Cpt. Overton. “The story I told about my daughter when I first got the vaccine meant a lot to me as a parent. I want to take her back to school with her friends, to a normal life.
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