No, Arizona is unable to run out of COVID-19 vaccines until the weekend

(Photo from the University of Arizona)

PHOENIX – According to the Arizona Department of Health’s COVID-19 dashboard, vaccine delivery is well on its way to fully depleting the state’s available supply as early as Friday.

But that doesn’t mean the state will run out of vaccines before the weekend as the dashboard numbers don’t tell the full story.

Every morning, the vaccines section of the dashboard is updated with a variety of data, including doses ordered – this is the state’s total allocation from federal supply – and doses administered. The information can be filtered by state.

The ordered cans usually increase on Mondays when the expected weekly shipments are added to the total.

On Thursday morning, the dashboard displayed nationwide totals of 1,395,300 ordered and 1,339,829 doses administered. This seems to suggest that by next week’s deliveries, the state’s supply has fallen to 55,471 cans.

The reported number of doses administered has increased by approximately 110,000 in the past two days. At this rate, the remaining supply would be gone by Friday morning.

But that won’t happen even if deliveries are delayed this week due to winter storms across the country. Why? The dosage numbers ordered on the dashboard do not accurately reflect the state’s actual supply, the health department said.

The nationwide ‘ordered’ amount includes cans allocated to four tribal partners and the CDC Pharmacy Partnership programs, as well as cans ordered by all counties and state PODs [points of dispensing]Holly Poynter, ADHD information officer, shared an email with KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday.

“However, there are sites that receive a direct federal grant that aren’t in that number but still report vaccines administered to the state.”

Additionally, Poynter said orders for the Pfizer vaccine are counted as five doses per vial, but some vials have enough vaccine for six shots.

These inconsistencies can lead to situations where the vaccine dashboard, footnoteing that the data is preliminary and subject to change, shows more recordings administered than available.

While this has not yet happened with the statewide numbers, it has in three counties.

Maricopa County’s numbers showed that as of Thursday morning, about 10,000 more doses were administered than ordered for the Phoenix area. The apparent discrepancy was about 6,000 for Coconino County and 2,000 for Navajo County.

While the vaccine isn’t about drought, bottlenecks are a real thing, and the weather delay makes matters worse.

Some rural areas using the Moderna vaccine have had to cancel appointments this week, authorities said.

For information on vaccine availability nationwide, visit a vaccine finder page on the ADHD website with a map of locations and information on how to register.

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