Thursday, May 6, 2021
CVS pharmacies are now accepting same-day COVID-19 vaccination appointments, and at some locations no appointment is necessary.
About 190 locations in Arizona are taking walk-ins, but appointments are also available within an hour of scheduling.
“We continue to orchestrate an all-out effort to vaccinate the nation against COVID-19,” said CVS Health President and CEO Karen S. Lynch. “Thanks to the dedication and effort of our colleagues, I am proud to say we helped achieve the President’s accelerated 100-day goal of 200 million vaccines and have administered over 17 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to date. Our customers continue to give us high satisfaction scores based on their interactions with colleagues and our customer-centric digital approach for scheduling appointments.”
CVS has administered more than 17 million COVID-19 vaccine doses nationwide through the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program and Federal Retail Pharmacy Program as of May 5. CVS locations boast a more than 90% second-dose compliance rate.
Walgreens announced it would offer same-day appointments at locations across the country as of yesterday. Patients can schedule appointments up to 30 minutes before the desired appointment time.
While Walgreens continues to encourage appointments, a Walgreens corporate spokesperson said, walk-ins have and continue to be accepted “if a time slot is available,” across all 8,800 Walgreens stores offering vaccinations.
The announcement by CVS comes after the state announced on April 27 that it would allow no-appointment walk-ins at state PODs. Pima County offers no-appointment walk-ins at its mobile clinics and some large vaccination sites, including El Pueblo Center on Irvington Road.
Vaccinations continue to decline across the nation, with 246,440 vaccines administered in Arizona during the week of April 25. That was down from 344,055 doses the week before. With 2,368,154 fully vaccinated individuals in the state, about 32.9% of Arizonans are fully vaccinated.
CVS has worked with community partners and nonprofit organizations like YMCAs and churches to raise awareness about the importance of getting vaccinated and connect people to these sites, said Monica Prinzing, CVS Western Region senior communications consultant.
“We believe we can play a meaningful role in addressing vaccine hesitancy in our communities, with over 30,000 trusted pharmacists serving as patient educators and vaccine administrators,” said Prinzing. “Presently, we’re focused on increased education on the vaccine’s safety and efficacy alongside improved access to the vaccine.”
Mobile vax sites rolling out this weekend
As health officials work to overcome vaccine hesitancy among some members of the public, Pima County and the Federal Emergency Management Agency 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, 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 the 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 Monday, 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, which is scheduled to close at the end of June, 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 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 Wednesday, May 5, 407,117 people in Pima County had received at least one shot of the virus, accounting for 39% of the population. A total of 333,841 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 601 new cases reported today, the total number of Arizona’s confirmed novel coronavirus cases continued to climb as of Thursday, May 6, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Pima County, which reported 104 new cases today, has seen 115,566 of the state’s 866,623 confirmed cases.
With 7 new deaths reported this morning, a total of 17,367 Arizonans have died after contracting COVID-19, including 2,396 deaths in Pima County, according to the May 6 report.
A total of 672 coronavirus patients were in the hospital as of May 5. That’s roughly 13% 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 975 people visited emergency rooms with COVID-like symptoms on May 5. That number represents 41.5% 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 191 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care unit beds on May 5, which roughly 16% 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 Christina Duran, Jeff Gardner and Mike Truelsen