Wednesday, May 5, 2021
As health officials work to overcome vaccine hesitancy among some members of the public, Pima County and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are teaming up to launch mobile vaccination units this weekend to reach vulnerable communities with high risks of COVID-19 exposure and infection.
The operation includes two mobile vaccination units (MVUs), able to administer 250 vaccines per day each, along with administrative staff and federal vaccinators with 70 personnel from FEMA, Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Labor, according to a county press release.
The units will run through June 26, operating at two concurrent locations for three days, with one day to tear down and move to the next location. The locations were selected based on census tract data and the Social Vulnerability Index of the area to identify highly vulnerable communities.
The sites will offer walk-up vaccinations of both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine for those 18 and older on a first-come, first-served basis. Vaccinators will return to the same mobile site 28 days after their first visit to receive their second dose, following CDC guidance. Help will be available to all who need assistance with mobility, language or other accommodations.
Here are the planned mobile clinics:
May 7-9, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
May 11-13, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
May 15-17, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The county continues to offer vaccinations at several vaccination centers, mobile pop-up clinics and pharmacies. Visit pima.gov/covid19vaccine for more information.
In a separate partnership, the county will team up with the Northwest YMCA, 7770 N. Shannon Road, to offer a vaccination clinic from 4 to 8 p.m. on May 10.
No appointment necessary for the UA vax POD
You no longer need an appointment to get a shot at the UA vaccination point of distribution. The POD will now accept anyone over the age of 16 who comes in for a shot.
The pod has closed its drive-thru clinic because of rising temperatures but still offers a sit-down clinic in the Ina E. Gittings Building (1737 E. University Blvd.) from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
If you’d rather schedule an appointment, the state is expected to open new first-dose appointments daily at podvaccine.azdhs.gov. Call 602-542-1000 or 844-542-8201 for help in English or Spanish.
If you need help, call the COVID Ambassador Team hotline at 520-848-4045 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, Pima County officials are shifting to indoor vaccination sites to avoid making staff and volunteers endure long days in triple-degree temperatures.
Tucson Medical Center has shut down its drive-thru vaccination clinics and transferred its operations to the Udall Center, 7200 E. Tanque Verde Road. The site is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Thursday and Friday and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. Register at https://vaccine.tmcaz.com/MyChart/OpenScheduling.
Pima County has opened a new indoor vaccine site at the Kino Event Center, where the county had earlier been doing COVID testing. That site is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Register at azdhs.gov.
The county has also opened an indoor vaccination POD at El Pueblo Center, 101 W. Irvington Road, which is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. No appointment is necessary.
The drive-through POD at Banner-South Kino Stadium, 2500 E. Ajo Way, is now offering appointments between 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and will close permanently on May 14.
As of Tuesday, May 4, 405,431 people in Pima County had received at least one shot of the virus, accounting for 38.8% of the population. A total of 329,687 people were fully vaccinated.
For more information or additional mobile clinics, visit pima.gov/covid19vaccineregistration or call 520-222-0119.
Many local pharmacies are now receiving vaccine doses. To find one near you, visit the ADHS website.
Get tested: Pima County has free COVID testing
Pima County is continuing to offer a number of testing centers and pop-up testing sites around town, including the northside Ellie Towne Flowing Wells Community Center, 1660 W. Ruthrauff Road. Schedule an appointment at pima.gov/covid19testing.
The University of Arizona’s antibody testing can determine if you have had COVID and now have antibodies. To sign up for testing, visit https://covid19antibodytesting.arizona.edu/home.
With 742 new cases reported today, the total number of Arizona’s confirmed novel coronavirus cases rose past 866,000 as of Wednesday, May 5, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Pima County, which reported 25 new cases today, has seen 115,462 of the state’s 866,022 confirmed cases.
With 5 new deaths reported this morning, a total of 17,360 Arizonans have died after contracting COVID-19, including 2,398 deaths in Pima County, according to the May 5 report.
A total of 636 coronavirus patients were in the hospital as of May 4. That’s roughly 12.5% of the number hospitalized at the peak of the winter surge, which reached 5,082 on Jan. 12. The summer peak was 3,517, which was set on July 13, 2020. The subsequent lowest number of hospitalized COVID patients was 468, set on Sept. 27, 2020.
A total of 945 people visited emergency rooms with COVID-like symptoms on May 4. That number represents 40% of the record high of 2,341 set on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020. That number had peaked during the summer wave at 2,008 on July 7, 2020; it hit a subsequent low of 653 on Sept. 28, 2020.
A total of 183 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care unit beds on May 4, which roughly 15.5% of the record 1,183 ICU patients set on Jan. 11. The summer’s record number of patients in ICU beds was 970, set on July 13, 2020. The subsequent low was 114 on Sept. 22, 2020.
—with additional reporting from Austin Counts, Christina Duran, Jeff Gardner and Mike Truelsen