The CDC Says This Arizona County Is 99.9% Fully Vaccinated

By Vaughan Jones
Published: Saturday, September 18, 2021 - 2:00pm
Updated: Monday, September 20, 2021 - 12:53pm
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Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that Santa Cruz County, which borders Mexico, has vaccinated 99.9% of its 18+ population.

Jose Arriola is with the Environmental Health Services Department for Santa Cruz County. He says the numbers aren’t fully accurate, but he projects the number of adult residents vaccinated is still at about 90%.

“There was buy-in from the community, so everyone wanted the vaccine. The demand was very high, everyone wanted it, and little by little we started getting more and more, and it was very successful,” said Arriola.

Arriola says the inflated numbers are from the county vaccinating people who work there, but don’t live there.

“There are a lot of Customs and Border Patrol agents that don’t live in the county, but do work here. Also, people from Mexico who work here in the United States, who are considered essential workers," Arriola said.

The CDC’s vaccination rate is based on county population, and does not consider part-time residents in its calculations.

The projected 90% vaccination rate is still far ahead of both the state and country’s rates. 

Arriola says Santa Cruz County is a small, close-knit community, so many people saw the impacts that COVID-19 had on others and wanted to get vaccinated because of it.

In June of this year, Santa Cruz County had a 63% vaccination rate. Arriola gave credit to those on the front lines working to administer vaccines.

"It’s not just us doing it. It’s our health care partners, our first responders, emergency management, and the city of Nogales. And I think when you get all hands on deck, the results are evident," said Arriola in a June interview with KJZZ.

He says the county’s vaccine information rollout and important local businesses urging employees to get vaccinated also contributed to the consistently high rates.

The county has averaged about 10 new cases per day for the past two weeks. Arriola says the cases are present largely in those that have not been vaccinated.

Bradley Roe contributed to this report.

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