NewsVaccine in Arizona


As vaccination rate declines, health officials try different methods to reach Valley communities

Covid Vaccine Booster Shot
Posted at 2:01 PM, May 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-16 23:25:07-04

In Arizona, the number of people getting the COVID-19 vaccine continues to decline, which is why some health officials are taking a unique approach to reach different communities.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, about 20,000 doses have been administered daily throughout this month. That’s compared to about 60,000 administered daily in April.

Currently, AZDHS says about 40% of Arizonans are vaccinated. State Health Director Dr. Cara Christ has said the ideal percentage would be 70-80% to reach herd immunity.

That is why Embry Health created a seven-day testing blitz. They say the goal is to vaccinate 30,000 people in seven days. With only a few days left, they still have about 25,000 to go.

“It’s a struggle and that was an honest conversation we were starting to have at the end of last week and we realized what we were doing wasn’t working,” said Embry Health CEO Raymond Embry.

Embry says that’s why they’re changing course, knocking on doors in underserved communities educating residents about their vaccine events.

They’re also making sure their mobile vans are in plain view the next time you’re having a night out on the town.

“To be quite frank, I told my staff, the extra staff, go down to Mill Avenue, go down to Old Town Scottsdale and you know, you’re not trying hard enough if you’re not getting kicked out of a location,” Embry said.

Embry says they’ve since partnered with bars and restaurants across the Valley, creating a “shots for shots” initiative. If you see them outside of a bar and you get a COVID-19 shot, you’ll get a voucher for a free shot of alcohol if you’re over the age of 21.

Embry says it’s a way to reach people who won’t go out of their way to get the shot themselves.

“Sitting at a site waiting for them to come to us, these vaccines are going to go to waste,” he said. “We’ve got to take these vaccines to them where they’re actually at,” Embry said adding they’ve vaccinated at least 500 people by partnering with bars and restaurants. If you would like to learn more about where they will be next, click here.