The La Paz County Health Department will be beginning to vaccinate people in La Paz County against COVID-19 on Wednesday, January 6th.
The first 400 vaccines will be going to medical professionals and first responders in ‘Phase 1A’ of the distribution. They are from Moderna, which was the second vaccination approved by the federal government for use against the coronavirus. Its technical name is mRNA-1273 and it consists of two shots, ideally given one month apart.
In clinical trials, the vaccine was 94.1 percent effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illness in people who received two doses who had no evidence of being previously infected.
Other countries like the United Kingdom have shown a willingness to consider delaying the second dose, using only dose per person at first to stretch the vaccine supply across more people. But the federal Food and Drug Administration has signaled that anyone receiving the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines will need both doses. Scientists are studying the question.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey issued an executive order last week aimed at speeding up the rollout of vaccines in the state. Each county had its own implementation plan, but Ducey’s order directed the Arizona Department of Health Services to implement a “uniform approach” across the state.
In La Paz County, the first vaccinations will happen at the Board of Supervisors boardroom on Wednesday and Thursday.
Public health authorities are excited by the arrival of the vaccine because it is likely to signal a beginning of the end of the global pandemic that has shuttered economies, locked down societies and paused life as normal across the world.
Health workers will be first to receive doses, followed by those most at-risk, then essential workers, then everybody else. The rollouts are expected to last for many months with the aim of achieving a ‘herd immunity’ to the virus.
These first vaccines arrive in La Paz County at a moment when Arizona and California have become the states with the highest coronavirus case rates in the nation, with 121.8 cases per 100,000 people in Arizona and 97.1 in California. Arizona is the only state with a rate higher than 100.