Pediatricians offering vaccine to boost numbers large-scale sites come to end

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) — A slump in demand is causing a shift in where people get COVID-19 vaccinations.

Mass vaccination sites will soon fill up. Now people are looking to their trusted pharmacies and doctors.

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

Now that more than 80% of Arizona residents over the age of 65 have been vaccinated, ADHS and the Pima County Health Department hope to get the younger public on board.

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

It costs the clinic a bit, but Dr. Sandy Herron said it’s well worth it.

“We think for ourselves that parents are okay with going everywhere and getting their vaccine from anyone,” she said. “But when it comes to their children, they want a reliable source.”

“If you are a pediatric health care 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 another vaccine,” said Dr. christ.

It’s a change that not only encourages parents to consider getting their children vaccinated against COVID-19, but also monitors all of their injections.

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

Herron said now is the perfect time to make an appointment.

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

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

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