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Former Arizona Health Director: Low Child COVID Vaccination Due to Inaccessibility

September 14, 2022

By Corinne Murdock |

Arizona Public Health Association (AZPHA) director Will Humble claimed on Tuesday that a majority of parents aren’t vaccinating their children for COVID-19 because of inaccessibility. Yet, there are hundreds of vaccination locations that offer the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months to 12 years. 

Humble, also the former director of the Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS), explained to KJZZ Phoenix that low vaccination rates were also caused by health care providers having to contend with federal hurdles to obtain the COVID-19 vaccines. On top of that, Humble claimed that parents were dissuaded by the bureaucratic onboarding process associated with child COVID-19 vaccines. Humble didn’t mention concern over the controversies on the vaccine’s side effects or efficacy. 

“It’s a hassle for parents to find the shot,” said Humble. “The easier you make it for parents, the better vaccination rates you’ll have.”

“It is a hassle for kids under three because you can’t go to a pharmacy and the public health emergency ended before a vaccine [for them] was even approved,” said Humble.

There are 101 vaccination locations that offer the COVID-19 vaccine to children aged 6 months to 5 years old: 57 in the Phoenix area, 13 in the Tucson area, and the remainder scattered across the state.

There are even more vaccination locations that offer the COVID-19 vaccine to children aged 5 to 12: about 330, with about 200 in the Phoenix area alone, and over 50 in the Tucson area. 

Nearly 74 percent of the Arizona population has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine. Of those under 20 years old, over 720,300 (37 percent) received at least one COVID-19 vaccine.

In June, the CDC recommended that children as young as 6 months old receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Their permission came a month after they approved booster shots for children as young as 5 years old. 

As of last Wednesday, total COVID deaths comprised one percent of over 2.2 million reported cases — about 31,100 deaths, which included comorbidities and disproportionately occurred among the elderly. Only 69 deaths (0 percent) occurred in those under the age of 20. 71 percent of all deaths occurred in those aged 65 and older.

AZDHS warned earlier this week that unvaccinated individuals were 47 times more likely to die from COVID-19. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

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