ARIZONA, USA — Editor's note: The above video aired during a previous broadcast.
Arizona has the least amount of nursing home residents vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, according to a recent study from the AARP.
The association recently published an analysis of government data focused on nursing home vaccination rates in every U.S. state. The analysis found that the Grand Canyon State was lacking when it comes to COVID-19 nursing home response in more ways than one.
Around 63% of Arizona's nursing home residents, less than two-thirds, are fully vaccinated, the report said. The online article also showed that Arizona was 13th in the nation when it came to nursing home staff and employees vaccinated against the virus
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey created a task force last July during the state's first spike specifically designed to address COVID-19 protections and issues for long-term care facilities and nursing homes.
"We have focused on protecting those most at risk, especially our seniors and vulnerable adults,” Ducey said.
But the lack of vaccinations among the state's most vulnerable residents and their caregivers shows the task force has led the state to a dead-last ranking nationally.
The Arizona Department of Public Health and Maricopa County has a less than transparent history when it comes to COVID-19 data from nursing homes. The department previously refused to release information regarding cases and deaths at specific facilities during the height of the pandemic.
Last year, 12 News, The Arizona Republic and three other TV stations filed a lawsuit against Gov. Ducey's administration, arguing the information would help the public evaluate which nursing homes and long-term facilities are safe.
Judge Christopher A. Coury sided with Ducey's administration, ruling that the state didn't have to publicly reveal the number of cases and deaths among residents of nursing homes and other long-term facilities.
Coronavirus in Arizona
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