‘Get the vaccine if it is available to you’

PHOENIX – Arizona Government Doug Ducey urged all Arizonans on Wednesday to “please get the (COVID-19) vaccine when it’s available to you.”

“We need Arizonans to get up and get the vaccine if we want to stop the spread of this virus. It’s our best chance to get back to normal,” he said at a Wednesday afternoon news conference at the Arizona State Fairgrounds. , where one of the state’s vaccine distribution locations.

Check out our full coverage of the press briefing in the player below.

Gov. Ducey also repeatedly stressed that the main cause of the increase in COVID-19 positive cases in the state was due to large gatherings at home. Before the holidays, he urged Arizonans to limit their gatherings and travel, organize as many outdoor gatherings as possible, or virtually connect with loved ones.

“I cannot stress this enough. The fight against this pandemic is not over yet. Far from it,” he said. “I need Arizonans to continue to contribute to slowing the spread of this virus. This of course means following public health guidelines, wearing a mask, washing your hands, physically distancing yourself and limiting your time with the most vulnerable. . “

To date, there have been 429,219 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arizona and 7,530 deaths, according to ADHS’s online data dashboard. The number of COVID-19 cases has increased significantly in recent weeks.

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Hospitals across the state have reported an increase in COVID-19 patients and in-use ICU beds, as well as a shortage of nurses to staff those beds.

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At the press conference, Gov. Ducey also announced 10 people who would be the first to receive the vaccine at a vaccination point in Phoenix on Wednesday night. That includes nurses, doctors, firefighters and a member of the Arizona National Guard. It also included Dr. Cara Christ, the director of the Arizona Department of Health Services and someone who has been the face of the state’s mitigation efforts.

“I’m going to get the vaccine when it’s my turn,” said Gov. Ducey, pointing out that he was not in the first category determined to get the vaccine. “When it’s my turn, my sleeve is rolled up and administered.”

Gov. Ducey also announced that vaccine distribution sites are expected to be set up and available in all 15 provinces in the coming week. He said vaccines would be delivered to nursing facilities by the end of the month.

He also announced that an additional $ 15 million would be allocated to ADHS’s emergency fund.

Governor Ducey’s visit to the point of distribution on Wednesday comes two days after the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Maricopa County.

Since its arrival, front-line workers and veterans have been among the first Arizonans to receive the vaccine.

A possible phased distribution plan for the vaccine in the Valley has been released by Maricopa County health officials, and the general population will receive it from spring 2021.