Santa Cruz County will have a chance to scale up its vaccination program beginning next week, when it’s expecting a total of 4,400 vaccine doses – its largest weekly allocation yet.
According to Jeff Terrell, the county’s health services director, 400 will be doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The other 4,000 will be for the two-shot Moderna vaccine series, with approximately 900 or 1,000 earmarked as second doses.
That means more than 3,000 residents could get vaccinated for the first time next week. Terrell said he’d been lobbying to get more doses for Santa Cruz County, and that the increase might have been due to other counties around the state having more than enough vaccine doses.
He said the county is still working its way through essential workers and people aged 65 and older this week.
And, while the State of Arizona opened up vaccine registration to all adults this week, Terrell said the county isn’t ready to throw the gates open yet. He said next week’s vaccinations would focus on remaining individuals in the 1B priority group – adults 65 and older, some living in group residences, and essential workers – and moving on to adults with underlying health issues.
In Santa Cruz County, 15,791 people had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose as of Thursday, according to data from the Arizona Department of Health Services. That’s about one-third of all county residents.
Of those, 9,097 were “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19 – that could mean two doses of the Moderna vaccine or a single shot of the Johnson & Johnson.
Demographic breakdowns show that 6,115 people in the 65-plus age group have received at least one vaccine shot in Santa Cruz County, or approximately 39 percent of the total. Another 26 percent of shots went to people ages 20 to 44. The rest were for those between 45 and 64.
Meanwhile, the ethnic makeup of vaccine recipients is starting to look more like that of Santa Cruz County’s population.
On Thursday, ADHS data showed that 72 percent percent of people vaccinated here had been identified as Hispanic or Latino, with 18 percent identified as white non-Hispanic. U.S. Census data show that 83 percent of county residents identify as Hispanic or Latino, with 15 percent identified as white non-Hispanic.
In early February, ADHS data showed that just 63 percent of local vaccine recipients were Hispanic or Latino and 23 percent were white non-Hispanic.