BISBEE — Health care workers, residents and staff at nursing homes and first responders who have not yet registered to receive the Moderna vaccine can now do so online, said associate county administrator Sharon Gillman Wednesday morning in an email.

The online registration form is on the county website at https://covid–

Alicia Thompson, Cochise Health and Social Services (CHSS) director, said people can register now and when their phase comes up, they will have access to locations where they can be inoculated. The questions in the registration process will automatically put people in the right phase.

“The locations won’t show up until their phase begins,” she noted. “We have multiple partners that will be listed, like Fry Fire and Chiricahua Community Health Centers, where people can go to get their inoculation.”

CHSS is partnering with over 30 healthcare providers who are registered to administer the vaccine.

“We will open up phases when we can get more doses of the vaccine. So, the more doses we get, the more people we can inoculate. We are actively working to get as many dosages as possible.”

The first group to be vaccinated are the frontline healthcare workers, emergency service personnel, staff and residents at nursing homes who are at highest risk of being exposed to COVID positive patients in Phase 1A.

According to Jessica Ogiba, Copper Queen Community Hospital communications director, the group also includes staff of homeless shelters and food kitchens.

Thompson explained a phased approach will be used, based on recommendations from the Arizona Vaccine and Antiviral Prioritization Committee. The first group in Phase 1A to be vaccinated are the frontline health care workers, emergency service personnel and staff and residents at nursing homes who are at highest risk of being exposed to COVID positive patients. This phase is underway now.

Phase 1B will include vaccinations for law enforcement, firefighters, correction officers, teachers and childcare staff, utility workers and health care workers not included in Phase 1A. It also includes high risk adults in congregate settings such as group homes and homeless shelters, said Ogiba.

Phase 1C includes people older than 65 and people with high risk medical conditions such as diabetes, kidney, heart and lung disease, asthma and obesity. This phase will also include any people in Phase 1A or 1B who have not been vaccinated.

CHSS is partnering with more than 30 health care providers who are registered to administer the vaccine.

The Moderna vaccine requires two doses, one month apart. It is important for people to receive the second dose from the same manufacturer, meaning if people get the Moderna vaccine in the first shot, they have to get Moderna vaccine as the second shot.

Plans for Phases 2 and 3 will include the coordination of drive-thru immunization clinics throughout Cochise County, which will be scheduled approximately four weeks apart. CHSS will announce these clinics and who is eligible to receive the vaccine at, the County’s Facebook page and other media outlets.

Thompson said, “While the news of a vaccine is exciting, we encourage everyone to continue to be diligent about wearing masks properly, washing their hands and staying a safe distance from others. Act as if everyone may have the COVID-19 virus everywhere you go whether it is at work, the store or any other gathering place.”