Since mid-December, when the first Pfizer vaccines reached Arizona, ADHS has been working with our local county health departments and tribes to get the COVID-19 vaccine distributed to vulnerable Arizonans as quickly as possible. Arizonans living in long-term care facilities and those 65 years of age and older were prioritized first for vaccination because of their high risk for bad outcomes due to COVID-19, including hospitalization and death.

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued results from a real-world study showing that being fully vaccinated with either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine provides significant protection against hospitalization in individuals 65 and older. The data suggests that the effectiveness of the vaccines in preventing COVID-19-associated hospitalization among adults 65 and older is 94% for fully vaccinated individuals and 64% for partially vaccinated individuals. This real-world data is consistent with clinical trials. Those that have been vaccinated with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine are less likely to be hospitalized for disease related to COVID-19.

ADHS and our local health departments have been working closely with vulnerable populations to provide vaccine to high-risk groups. As of today, over 80% of Arizonans 65 and older and nearly 60% of those 55 and older have been vaccinated with at least one dose. Currently, all Arizonans are eligible for vaccination, and one out of three eligible Arizonans have been fully vaccinated. 

Along with yesterday’s updated CDC guidance on mask use by fully vaccinated individuals, the results of this study provide another reason for everyone to get vaccinated, whether that’s at a pharmacy, doctor’s office, community vaccination event, or a state-run vaccination site. Vaccines are safe, free, and, as today’s news reinforces, highly effective at protecting you against serious effects from COVID-19. Find a COVID-19 vaccine near you at