March Update: COVID-19 vaccine access for Arizona local media

March 1, 2021 by Arizona Media Association Uncategorized Comments Off on March Update: COVID-19 vaccine access for Arizona local media

Seven counties across Arizona have now moved into the vaccine phase that includes Arizona local media. Those counties are Apache, Coconino, Gila, La Paz, Navajo, Santa Cruz and Yavapai.

Even with this news, I know many Arizona local media employees remain ineligible in major metro areas like Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma. If you haven’t already done so, every media employee should make sure they are set up with a login for the state vaccination portal right now. When you become eligible to register, this will make the process quicker and hopefully get you an appointment sooner.

Here’s the latest summary of the Arizona vaccine distribution plans:

  • Arizona local media has been identified as part of the “essential workers” group for Arizona vaccination distribution. This is confirmed on page 22 of the Arizona vaccination plan where essential worker definitions include local media using CISA (page 19) and Arizona EO guidelines (page 5)
  •  The state vaccine rollout plan looks like this:
    • 1A – Health workers and nursing home residents (*ACTIVE*)
    • 1B Priority – Adults over 65, teachers, law enforcement (*ACTIVE*)
    • 1B General – Essential workers (*ACTIVE IN 7 COUNTIES*)
    • 1C – Adults with chronic conditions (*ACTIVE IN 2 COUNTIES*)
    • 2 – General Population (TBD, LIKELY APRIL AND BEYOND)
  • Vaccination distribution is being managed at the COUNTY level. It’s up to each COUNTY in Arizona to determine when they move through each of the vaccine rollout phases. This is leading to some confusion since the protocols in one county may differ from another.
  • Seven Arizona COUNITES have now moved to the vaccination phase that includes essential workers like local media. Those counties are Apache, Coconino, Gila, La Paz, Navajo, Santa Cruz and Yavapai.
  • In addition to the COUNTY vaccination sites, the STATE has four of their own vaccine distribution centers. Those sites (the Cardinals Stadium in Glendale, Phoenix Municipal Stadium in Phoenix, Chandler-Gilbert Community College in Chandler and on the UA Campus in Tucson) follow state guidelines instead of county guidelines. The state has NOT YET moved into the vaccine phase that includes essential workers like media.
  • You can review your COUNTY status and see STATE AND COUNTY vaccination options on the interactive map at this URL:
  • Every local media employee should be able to apply for a vaccine on their own (when their county or the state opens up registration) as long as they have proof of identification/work affiliation to local TV and radio.   
  • The ABA’s Arizona general counsel law firm Gust Rosenfeld has reviewed the legal implications of requiring COVID-19 vaccinations at the office. What’s their conclusion? Employers may require COVID-19 vaccines subject to allowance for exemptions.  Read their legal findings.