50% of Arizona’s population vaccinated for COVID-19

Medical assistant Andreea Marian, right, gives a COVID-19 vaccine to Gabina Morales at a clinic at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center Thursday, June 3, 2021, in Bellingham, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Arizona reached a coronavirus milestone Thursday with 50% of its population having received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Administration of an additional 11,810 doses put the state’s count of people who are at least partially vaccinated at nearly 3.6 million, according to the state Department of Health Services’ coronavirus dashboard.

Nationally, 55.1% of the population had received at least one dose as of Wednesday, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Arizona’s vaccine administration peaked in early April with up to 78,000 a day after the state opened appointments to people 16 and older in late March.

Vaccination rates began slipping in late April before dropping in May to about half the peaks seen in early April and even lower more recently.

The state has closed its mass vaccination sites due to the decreased demand and instead promoted availability of vaccines at health clinics, pharmacies and pop-up events.

In their continued push to encourage people to get vaccinated, state officials recently have pointed to the increasing prevalence of a COVID-19 variant that spreads more easily.

“The best way to prevent getting the delta variant or any type of COVID is to get vaccinated as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Cara Christ, the Department of Health Services director.

The state on Thursday reported an additional 725 confirmed cases and no additional deaths as the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 continued to fluctuate between 500 and 600.

According to Johns Hopkins University data, Arizona’s seven-day rolling average of daily new cases rose over the past two weeks, from around 431 on June 22 to nearly 487 on Tuesday as the rolling average of daily deaths in Arizona declined from 11 to 9.7.

Republished with the permission of the Associated Press.