Efforts are underway to try and make the COVID-19 vaccine more accessible for those living in underserved communities around Maricopa County.
On Tuesday, Maricopa County officials held a pop-up event at a senior housing center near 24th and Roosevelt streets.
"It's just very important for me to stay healthy," said Leroy Campbell Jr., a resident who got his first dose of the vaccine. "Make sure I don't get sick."
In an effort to make the vaccine more accessible, Maricopa County Public Health Executive Director Marcy Flanagan noted the county is partnering with school districts and pharmacies to provide vaccine doses to teachers, school staff and childcare workers and have held 27 related events, with another 14 events at senior housing centers.
Flanagan said they are looking at areas with lower vaccination rates among the eligible population. For example, county data shows the West Phoenix zip code of 85009 has an eligible population vaccination rate of around 16%. among the lowest in Maricopa County.
"A lot of this work we're doing in these communities are working with the leaders, whether that's faith-based leaders or individuals that are well-known in those communities and working with them on what is the best approach to get vaccine to those individuals living in those areas," Flanagan said.
Some of the barriers people in these communities have mentioned to ABC15 involve low-incomes, lack of transportation and difficulty finding information on the vaccine that they trust.
Campbell Jr. said his solution to getting the vaccine was as simple as getting easy access.
"They brought the shot to me," he said. "I appreciate it."