The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two vaccine candidates for distribution under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Two vaccines are manufactured by:
Due to the current limited initial supply of vaccine, Arizona counties will be utilizing a vaccine prioritization phased approach. In order to be vaccinated, you will need to be a member of the current phase, schedule an appointment, and provide appropriate identification once you arrive at the vaccination site. Each county in Arizona has its own individual supply of the vaccine and has set its own eligibility requirements. For a map of vaccine eligibility by county in Arizona, click HERE.
For a step-by-step video guide to registering for a vaccine appointment through AZDHS, click HERE. For technical support with the Arizona Department of Health Services’ vaccine portal, call (602) 542-1000 and for general information, call the Arizona COVID-19 hotline at 1-(844) 541-8201.
Sign up for your county's alert system to receive updates on COVID-19 vaccines and more:
- La Paz
- Santa Cruz
Frequently Asked Questions:
When will I be able to be vaccinated?
• Arizona is being provided with doses of the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines that are distributed through the White House COVID Response Team. The state is responsible for coordinating with county and local public health departments and health care providers to distribute vaccines.
• Individuals aged 65 and older are now eligible to make appointments in Arizona for the vaccine. You can visit AZDHS’s interactive vaccine tool to determine where you can make an appointment for a vaccine.
• To determine if you are eligible and to make an appointment, you must register and follow the steps through the AZDHS Vaccine Registration website.
How much will the vaccine cost?
• Vaccines that were pre-purchased by the federal government through OWS will be provided free to Americans. Some long-term care facilities have already signed agreements with pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens to provide the vaccine free-of-cost to residents. You may be asked to show your insurance card when you are vaccinated. Even if you do not have insurance, your vaccine should be free. However, some providers may charge small fees to patients when vaccinating them.
Are children eligible for any of the COVID-19 vaccines?
• The Pfizer vaccine is approved for individuals 16 and older. The Moderna vaccine has been approved for individuals 18 and older. None of the vaccines have been approved for children as of right now, but there are clinical trials for children that are currently ongoing.
Do the vaccines require multiple shots?
• The two vaccines that have been approved so far require a booster shot taken three to four weeks after the preliminary vaccination shot. Your medical provider will alert you when you should return for your booster shot. Failure to take the booster shot reduces the effectiveness of the vaccine significantly.
• Other vaccines that are being developed will likely require only one shot, but those have not yet been approved yet. However, approval could come by the end of February for some of these vaccines.
What if I only get one shot?
• One shot is likely to provide some protection against COVID-19, although the efficacy level is much lower than the 94 or 95 percent protection level. Individuals should ensure they receive the second shot in the recommended timeframe to provide maximum protection against contracting COVID-19.
Is there risk associated with the vaccine?
• While there are certainly some limited risks associated with taking the COVID-19 vaccine, no one in the clinical trials for the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines developed serious long-term side-effects from being vaccinated. Some participants reported some side effects like chills, muscle aches, and fever and these symptoms were more pronounced after the second booster shot. In almost all participants who experienced symptoms, these subsided within 24 hours. Regardless of the short-term side effects, the side effects from contracting COVID-19 are much more dangerous, including death.
After I get the vaccine, will I be able to return to normal life?
• Not immediately. Data does not exist yet as to whether one will be able to transmit COVID-19 to others when they are vaccinated, which means that an individual could be vaccinated and be an asymptomatic carrier of COVID-19. For this reason, it is critical to continue to follow CDC and public health guidelines around social distancing and wearing a mask until the conclusion of the public health emergency.
Will I need to be vaccinated for COVID-19 every year, like a flu shot?
• It is too soon to answer this question. Right now, it is unknown how long the acquired immunity from a vaccine will last. Early estimates are that a vaccine could potentially provide at least a year’s worth of immunity, but it is possible that immunity will last much longer. However, it is possible that individuals will need to be vaccinated again in future years. It also appears possible that a booster shot may be necessary to counteract new strains of COVID-19.
What is an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)?
• An Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) is a mechanism that is utilized by the FDA to help expedite the initial approval of medical countermeasures, including vaccines, during public health emergencies. Through an EUA, FDA may allow the use of unapproved medical products to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases.
• This does not mean that products approved under an EUA are untested or unsafe. Vaccine manufacturers have had to submit significant amounts of data to the FDA proving the safety and efficacy of their products. It simply means that they have not gone through the normal approval process that other vaccines, prescription drugs, or medical equipment must seek in order to have their products approved for use by the American people.
• Other products, such as COVID-19 test kits and antibody tests have been approved through an EUA.
If I get the COVID-19 vaccine, do I still need a flu shot?
• Yes. The COVID-19 vaccine is designed only to prevent the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, not the seasonal flu. Because the COVID-19 vaccine will not protect you from the flu, you would need to consider receiving a flu shot. Consult your physician for further guidance.
At this time, the VA is offering COVID-19 vaccines first to these 2 groups when the Veteran is eligible based on VA and CDC risk criteria:
- Veterans who are enrolled in VA health care or currently receive care at VA, and
- Designated primary and secondary family caregivers who are enrolled in our Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) and come with the Veteran to get a vaccine
These groups are now also eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine at VA when their local VA health facilities are able to offer more vaccines:
- All Veterans
- Spouses and surviving spouses of Veterans
- Caregivers of Veterans. For COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, we define a caregiver as a family member or friend who provides care to a Veteran. Caregivers may help a Veteran with personal needs like feeding, bathing, or dressing. They may also help a Veteran with tasks like shopping or transportation.
- Recipients of Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) benefits
For more information, visit my Veterans page, HERE.
Tribal Allocations and Indian Health Service
• In November 2020, IHS released their IHS COVID-19 Pandemic Vaccine Plan.
• Tribes may choose to partner with either IHS or the state to vaccinate tribal residents. Tribes that choose to partner with the state must document and follow state regulations and guidelines. In times of limited vaccine supply, IHS is prioritizing:
o Phase 1a: health care personnel and long-term care facility residents.
o Phase 1b: people ages 75 years and older and frontline essential workers.
o Phase 1c: people aged 65 years and older and people 16 to 64 years old who have high-risk medical conditions, and other essential workers.
• For more information, tribes and tribal leaders should visit the IHS Vaccination website.