BISBEE — Thursday was a busy day in Bisbee as Copper Queen Community Hospital staff provided the Moderna vaccinations to 900 people, some of whom ended up waiting as cars queued up along Bisbee Road and Cole Avenue.
All totaled, 1,714 shots were given on Thursday, said Alicia Thompson, Cochise Health and Social Services director.
If the county gets assurances the weekly supply of 3,400 doses will remain the same, Thompson hopes to be able to schedule appointments farther in advance. And with the approval of the Johnson and Johnson one-dose vaccine Saturday, more availability could be on the horizon.
“We are rocking and rolling,” said Thompson. “We are on target to get all the doses into arms.”
Cochise County received its 7,400 doses of vaccine this week as promised so people were able to get their first and second shots at a number of points of distribution across the county, including primary care providers, she said.
So far, 18,799 people have received the first shot and 7,561 have been fully vaccinated, she noted.
The county still has most of its population to go, so while that is good news, just as declining new positive cases is good news, people should still follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to wear masks in public, wash hands frequently and stay six feet apart, said Supervisor Ann English during a work session with the Board Thursday on COVID-19.
Thompson agreed and said, “Just because the number of cases is going down, it doesn’t mean we can relax our mitigation efforts. We still need to continue to do all the things we’ve done until we have a large portion of our population vaccinated.”
Spring break is approaching and it is possible college students will ignore the recommendations, causing another surge in COVID-19 cases, she cautioned.
English added, “When we look at the small number of people who have been fully vaccinated, people need to remember just because you had one shot does not make you immune.”
Spring sports like baseball and the Little League will bring people back in possibly close contact, English said.
“We certainly encourage people to get fresh air and sunshine,” English said. “But just wash the baseballs, don’t share cups. There are simple things we each can do to stop the threat of the virus. It’s up to all of us to practice better hygiene that will protect us from a lot of things.”
To spread the message further, county public information officer Camila Rochin will be working on getting more information out to the public related to safeguarding personal health and will follow English’s suggestion to make a health brochure on precautions aimed at children.
Thompson said there is an effort to get the Legacy Foundation to OK a grant that would be used for a media campaign on the virus.
“This will be a well–funded blitz on getting information out to county residents,” Thompson said. “We plan to reach every active address in the county.”
The next vaccine shipment will be back at the past weekly total of 3,400 doses.