NOGALES, AZ — Old Town Health in Arcadia has been helping lead the vaccine effort in rural Arizona by traveling down to Santa Cruz and Cochise Counties and setting up vaccine sites for people with limited access to medical care.
"Giving out this vaccination for free has really helped them out a long," said Chris Coller, a pharmacy technician at Old Town Health. "They are appreciative. I’ve seen mothers and fathers dragging their children in to get the vaccine."
Old Town Health said they have partnered with National Community Health Partners (NCHP) and have vaccinated 7,000 people in towns such as Rio Rico and the City of Nogales.
"No one’s really gone out there to say, 'Hey we need to vaccinate everybody,'" said Coller. "[The response has] been overwhelming, that line in Santa Cruz, that line from 9 to 430, that line does not stop."
Coller and his colleagues set up vaccine sites where rural Arizonans can easily travel to while Adriana Romero with NCHP helps market the vaccine events to locals.
" We say 'Prevenir es importante' which means, prevention is important," said Romero. "It’s not necessarily waiting for them to knock on our doors, but for us to knock on their doors and see a way that we can provide that vaccination and that education in their community."
The Arizona Department of Health Services said 72 percent of people in Santa Cruz County (37,012) and 42 percent (31,992) have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Coller and Old Town Health is planning another trip to Santa Cruz County this weekend to hopefully vaccinate more people.