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Arizona: More than 1M people in state now fully vaccinated

March 17, 2021 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — Just over 1 million Arizona residents are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, state officials announced Tuesday.

That represents nearly 14% of the state’s estimated population of nearly 7.3 million, or about one of every seven residents.

“Every dose of the COVID-19 vaccine administered to an Arizona resident represents an essential step forward in our fight against COVID-19,” Gov. Doug Ducey said in a statement.

The Department of Health Services said nearly 2.6 million doses had been administered as of Tuesday morning to over 1.6 million people. The doses included the two-shot Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The state’s vaccination program began in December and now includes four large outdoor state-run sites, including three in metro Phoenix and one in Tucson. Vaccines also are being administered across the state at county sites, pharmacies, congregate care facilities and other locations.

The health services department said it is preparing to allow vaccinations for all people 16 or older by May 1 and also preparing to move some outdoor vaccination operations to indoor locations or to nighttime hours as summer approaches to protect staff, volunteers and vaccine patients from extreme heat.

On Tuesday night, the Phoenix City Council voted unanimously to reopen its outdoor park amenities as COVID-19 cases continue to decline.

The facilities have been closed since early December out of caution due to high coronavirus case totals.

Residents will be able to resume making reservations for athletic fields for practices, games and local tournaments with some modifications.

In another development, the state on Tuesday reported 21 more COVID-19 deaths and 497 additional confirmed cases, continuing a trend that saw fewer than 1,000 cases reported on six of the previous eight days.

The latest figures increased the state’s pandemic totals to 16,574 deaths and 833,678 confirmed cases as related hospitalizations declined to 473 as of Monday, down from the Jan. 11 pandemic high of 5,082.

Arizona’s seven-day rolling average for daily new cases dropped from 1,192.4 on Feb. 28 to 877.8 on Sunday while the rolling average of daily deaths dropped from 79.7 to 37.8 during the same period, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

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The number of infections is thought to be far higher than reported because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak