Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, along with the state's health director, Dr. Cara Christ, want all residents to get the influenza vaccine.
The Governor and several leaders in the medical field announced a plan of action Monday to help businesses and healthcare providers prepare for the upcoming flu season.
“The overlap of COVID-19 and flu season presents a perfect storm — and we aren’t taking any chances,” said Governor Ducey. “We are approaching this fall with a proactive mindset and plan of action to limit the impact of the flu and preserve hospital resources."
Health director Cara Christ urged every Arizonan who can get a vaccine to do it right away.
“The influenza vaccine is safe and is the best prevention tool we have against the influenza virus," said Dr. Christ. "We need everyone to do their part to stop the spread of influenza and COVID-19 in our communities, starting now.”
With the presence of COVID-19 still in the community, Equality Health Senior Vice President Annabell Castro Thompson says it is likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both be spreading this fall.
“For this reason, the flu vaccine is more important than ever to protect our community and elders, and individuals with vulnerable health conditions," said Castro.
The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) has issued an administrative action to enable certified pharmacists to administer the flu vaccine to children enrolled in the program. It is also increasing payments to providers for administering vaccines. As an incentive, AHCCCS is offering $10 gift cards to members who get the flu shot.
Additional actions being taken by the Arizona Department of Health Services include:
A Significant increase in the amount of influenza vaccines available to uninsured and underinsured Arizonans;
Launch of a public education campaign - "Roll Up Your Sleeve;”
Partnerships with health care providers and pharmacies;
Outreach to businesses, creation of a “business toolkit." The toolkit will provide information and resources, including guidance for businesses to set up their own flu vaccine clinics;
Expansion of the flu vaccine at COVID-19 testing sites;
Creation of an online “Vaccine Finder” available soon.
For more information visit: azhealth.gov.