Friday, October 2, 2020

The Shots Are Free, But The Public Is Staying Home

Posted By on Fri, Oct 2, 2020 at 2:30 PM

click to enlarge Heather Webber, a nurse working at Pima County Health Department's free flu shot clinic at 22nd Street, said the program is off to a slow start. - AUSTIN COUNTS
  • Austin Counts
  • Heather Webber, a nurse working at Pima County Health Department's free flu shot clinic at 22nd Street, said the program is off to a slow start.

The Pima County Health Department opened a free flu shot clinic late last September in an effort to get Tucsonans vaccinated ahead of flu season.

The problem: The public isn’t coming in.

Registered nurse Heather Webber said she typically sees fewer than 10 patents a day during an eight-hour shift at Passport Health Clinic, located at 6383 E. 22nd St. Suite 101. The most she has helped in one day is 13 people, she said.

“There hasn’t been a line to get a shot since I started,” Webber said. “We have lots of time available for people to come in. They need to start coming in.”

The registered nurse said getting a flu shot is especially important this year so as to not overwhelm hospitals around Pima County. While the shot isn’t 100 percent effective, it does reduce the risk of flu illness by 60 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control website.

“Getting a flu shot is extremely important not only for the flu but if you get sick you’ll know it’s most likely something else because you got a flu shot,” Webber said.

The 22nd Street clinic is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Pima County Health Department encourages all people over the age of 6 months old to get a flu shot this season, especially the elderly, low-income and uninsured.

In addition to the free clinic on 22nd Street, Pima County Health is also offering free flu shots to the public at their eastside office at 6920 E Broadway, Suite E; their northside office at 3550 N. First Ave and at Theresa Lee Clinic at 1493 W. Commerce Court. Offices are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed for lunch between noon to 1 p.m.).

Reservations are recommended by health department officials, but you’ll probably be fine just walking in. Click here to reserve a space.

For more information, check out the Pima County Health website.

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