COVID booster vaccination rate remains low in Pima County

Pima County Health Department uses mobile clinics at libraries to offer vaccinations and family planning for residents
Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 7:04 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - The Pima County Health Department held a public mobile clinic at the Nanini Library today, offering vaccines and medical treatment, including the COVID-19 booster shot.

This event is part of an ongoing attempt by the county health department to reach people who struggle to receive medical aid in traditional ways. The problem is convincing them to receive that help, with only four people receiving a vaccine during the event.

“The thing is that now, supposedly, the pandemic is slowing down,” public health nurse Oscar Furet said, people aren’t as eager to get the vaccine as they once were.”

According to the CDC, less than a quarter of Pima County residents have received the bivalent booster shot. Arizona had more than 1,200 new coronavirus cases within the last week.

“COVID has mutated tremendously since the initial strain,” program manager of prevention services Noel Valle said. “Having access to receive the bivalent vaccine is really important because it will protect you against certain strains that are coming up.”

Despite the low numbers for COVID-19 vaccines, the event also provides family planning services, monkeypox and flu vaccines, things people passing by wouldn’t have otherwise gotten.

“We’ve gone to a lot of venues where we do vaccinate a lot of folks,” Furet said. “What they tell us that they just don’t have the opportunity to get to where the clinics are and so us being out here and doing this is really a benefit.”

Vaccines for children are not available at the mobile events but are offered at the county health department’s brick-and-mortar clinics.

The next mobile clinic is scheduled for June 23rd at the Wilmot Library.

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