COVID-19 vaccine distribution causes concern

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Those 65 and older can now make vaccine appointments for February. We talked about the state’s vaccine rollout and other COVID concerns with Dr. Shad Marvasti, from the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine.

No Maricopa County appointments

For those 65 and older looking to make a vaccine appointment, Maricopa County run vaccine sites will not be available. The county does not have enough supply to vaccinate this group yet. Dr. Marvasti believes this is due to such a large-scale vaccine rollout. He also blames the lack of communication between national and local leadership. “We don’t really have a well coordinated, well oiled machine in place,” Dr. Marvasti said.

When will the vaccine reflect improvement?

Dr. Marvasti predicts we won’t see an improvement in COVID-19 cases until about 50% of the population is vaccinated. The vaccine rollout will take some time, so Dr. Marvasti says reliance on social distancing measures and masks are crucial. “We can’t really vaccinate our way out of this because it is really narrow thinking to just focus on that as a solution,” Dr. Marvasti said.

New COVID-19 variant

There are concerns of new variants posing a threat to the COVID-19 vaccine. A COVID-19 variant has been reported in the United Kingdom. This variant is said to be more contagious. Dr. Marvasti says mutations of a virus are always expected as it continues to spread. While there are no definitive answers on the vaccine working on the variant, Dr. Marvasti says the vaccine is likely able to fight them off as well.

Dr. Shad Marvasti, MPH/Director, Public Health, Prevention, and Health Promotion University of Arizona College of Medicine

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