Arizona begins to see decline in those getting COVID-19 vaccines, health expert says

Arizona has reached its peak number of people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 as of May 2, says the former state health director.

Will Humble, executive director for the Arizona Public Health Association, says the state has seen a decline in people getting vaccinated.

Another topic Humble touched on was herd immunity.

He says reaching that level doesn’t mean that the pandemic will be over or that there will be zero cases once we reach it, but it means is we will see a sharp decline in new cases.

“Really the early adapters are taken care of. The people who are highly motivated to get vaccinated have gotten vaccinated,” Humble said.

There are three categories of people left to help the state reach herd immunity, he said, explaining, the people with economic and transportation challenges, the young people who want the vaccine to be more convenient and the people who still have questions about the vaccine.

“The state health department has announced that individual doctors can now apply to get vaccine within their practice. It starts at only 200 doses, maybe it will go up from there, I hope it does, because that for that category of person, the people that are vaccine-hesitant, they want to have a conversation with their doctor but it’s important for the doctor to close the deal right after the conversation,” Humble said.

Israel is the only place in the world that has reached herd immunity yet. Humble says in Arizona, an additional 1.3 million Arizonans need to be vaccinated, a number he says is doable. 

“That 700,000, those 700,000 people that have one shot but haven’t had their second shot, yet they need to get that second shot and then we need another 700,000 people beyond that to get fully immunized. Once we do that we can be, at least from what Israel shows us, we can be a herd immunity,” Humble said.

Coronavirus in Arizona: Latest case numbers

MORE: How to sign up and schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment

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