Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, says the COVID-19 vaccine continues to be highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death and is urging more Arizonans to get vaccinated as new coronavirus strains, such as the rapidly spreading Delta variant, are emerging.
Since the beginning of the year, about 99 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Arizona were individuals who were not fully vaccinated, according to AZDHS. Arizona now ranks in the bottom half of states for its percentage of the eligible population that is fully vaccinated (45 percent), according to the New York Times. “The more people who are protected against COVID-19, the less chance the virus can spread to the one out of 20 people who can be a breakthrough case,” Christ wrote recently in her Director’s Blog at azdhs.gov
“Vaccination generally means less severe outcomes for those with breakthrough cases,” Christ added. “One severe case of COVID-19 is one too many. One death from COVID-19 is one too many. It’s up to all of us to put COVID-19 in its place. Vaccines work very well. If you haven’t already done so, please get one now for your safety and for the safety of your family and your community.”
Kathy Hoffman, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, also is urging more Arizonans to get vaccinated before the new school year. “There’s nothing more important than ensuring healthy students, teachers and staff are walking onto campus for the upcoming school year,” Hoffman tweeted in late June. “That’s why I encourage all Arizonans 12 and over to get vaccinated and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”