The COVID-19 vaccine’s new age requirement

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As COVID-19 vaccine distribution continues into phase 1-B, the age requirement to receive the vaccine has lowered. Karie Dozer spoke with Will Humble, Executive Director of the Arizona Public Health Association, about the change.

He talked about immunity and when we can expect it, the confusion over who is an essential worker (golf instructors are on there, but grocery workers are not, and also people who have disabilities and are immuno-compromised are not eligible). We also discussed the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, how much has arrived in the state and where those doses went.

Humble agrees with the administration on the drop in age. He said it’s hard to verify chronic health conditions and a lot easier to verify age. The older one gets, the more likely they are to have a chronic health condition. He talks about the people who are left out and who he is concerned about. There are some problems with people having to wait for their age category. Overall though, Humble said he supports this.
Humble also said there are some things working to slow the spread. Number one is the number of vaccines being administered. He said this will also slow down the number of deaths because they are vaccinating high-risk people. He added that the number of people who have gotten the virus and overcame it is working to slow the number of cases. What he will be watching are hospitalizations and emergency visits from Covid. He said things are looking better, but things are not great yet.

Lastly, we ask if in-person learning is a good idea. Humble agrees with the governor with getting back to in-person learning. He said all the teachers that want to get vaccinated have had the chance to. He said the order also takes into account students’ ages and their exposure to the virus. He said the big problem schools are having in preparation for in-person learning.

Will Humble, Executive Director of the Arizona Public Health Association

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