Pediatricians offer vaccine to boost numbers; large-scale sites come to end

Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 10:02 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A drop in demand is causing a shift in where people get COVID-19 vaccinations.

Mass vaccination sites will soon pack up. Now, people are looking to their trusted pharmacies and physicians.

“We are going to phase those state-run vaccination sites out by June 28,” said Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ.

With more than 80% of Arizonans over the age of 65 now vaccinated, ADHS and the Pima County Health Department are hoping to get the younger crowd on board.

Tanque Verde Pediatrics recently began administering the Pfizer vaccine to children over the age of 12. Over the past two weeks, pediatricians have administered hundreds of doses.

It comes at a cost to the clinic, but Dr. Sandy Herron said it’s well worth it.

“We are finding for themselves, parents are okay going anywhere and getting their vaccine from anyone,” she said. “But when it comes to their children, they want a trusted source.”

“If you are a pediatric provider and want to provide the Pfizer vaccine, you no longer have to wait the 14 days between the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine and any other vaccine,” Dr. Christ said.

It’s a change that not only encourages parents to consider getting their kids vaccinated against COVID-19, but also get them caught up on all their shots.

“Countrywide, 11 million vaccine doses were missed because of the pandemic,” Herron said. “[They were] of all different types; HPV, measles shots, flu shots.”

Herron said it’s the perfect time to make an appointment.

“There are some side effects just like with adults,” she said. “But summer is a perfect time to get that over with, [children] are not missing school. You can have your child fully vaccinated and feel good about getting on a plane, going on vacation, doing the things that you want to do.”

More than 50,000 doses are now available at doctors’ offices across the state.

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