Pima County reached the goal of 70% vaccination for adults with at least one dose on Thursday, July 8.
President Joe Biden in June set a national goal of vaccinating at least 70% of all U.S. adults with at least one dose by July 4. Although Pima County fell short by just four days, it is now one of four counties in Arizona that have reached the goal, including Santa Cruz County, which has vaccinated almost 100% of adults with at least one dose.
As of Monday, July 12, the state of Arizona has vaccinated just over half of the total population with at least one dose.
According to data from the CDC, Pima County had fully vaccinated 61.9% of adults ages 18 and older with two shots of the vaccine as of Monday, July 12 (for those vaccines that require two shots). For those 12 and older, 67.8% had received at least one dose and 93% of adults 65 and older has had at least one dose.
“The science has become very clear – being vaccinated protects you from getting COVID,” said Pima County Health Director Dr. Theresa Cullen. “COVID is a serious illness. People can end up with significant disease and even death. For those who are still unvaccinated, I want to reassure them that the vaccines are safe and we encourage them to seek vaccination.”
The county has reported 401 breakthrough cases and 16 hospitalizations among the more than 535,000 fully vaccinated people in Pima County, about .07% of those fully vaccinated.
Pima County is continuing its mobile vaccination efforts in order to reach traditionally underserved areas and census tracts with lower vaccination rates. For more information, go to pima.gov/covid19vaccine.
County rescinds COVID-19 emergency resolution
On Tuesday, the Pima County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to rescind a resolution that declared a state of emergency because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Supervisors Sharon Bronson (D-District 3), Steve Christy (R-District 4) and Rex Scott (D-District 1) voted in favor of lifting the state of emergency, while Supervisors Matt Heinz (D-District 2) and Adelita Grijalva (D-District 5) voted against it.
Since March 19, 2020, the emergency declaration allowed the Board of Supervisors to take immediate and urgent actions that included regulating businesses, limiting gatherings and requiring mask wearing in public as cases began to rise.
Those restrictions had been lifted through state or local actions prior to the July 6 vote.
“We have had substantial and sustained improvement in Pima County,” Pima County Chief Medical Officer Dr. Francisco Garcia said. “I believe it would be safe to lift the emergency declaration. The cases that we’re seeing are cases among unvaccinated individuals, and we continue to work on that population very vigorously and we will continue to move that further. I’m not saying the pandemic is over.”
The state’s highest single day of reported cases was at more than 12,000 on Jan. 4, but as more people have become vaccinated, the number of cases has declined. For the past two months, the state has fluctuated at around 50 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 individuals.
County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry noted that the CDC reported last week that 99.5 percent of the COVID-19 deaths across the country in the past six months involved unvaccinated individuals.
“I think the message is, if you’re not vaccinated, get vaccinated,” Huckelberry told the board on July 6. “The rate of infection is in the hands of those who are unvaccinated.”