Pima County preparing for imminent Pfizer booster rollout – Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona 2021-09-25 00:21:49 –

Tucson, Arizona (KGUN) — Starting Saturday, pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens will offer Pfizer’s COVID-19 booster shots in southern Arizona. The Pima County Health Department hopes to begin distributing boosters by Monday.

The CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization and Implementation (ACIP) have approved this week’s revised guidance in determining which groups are eligible to receive Pfizer boosters.

Must receive Pfizer booster
* People aged 65 and over and residents of long-term care facilities
* People aged 50-64 with underlying health

You may receive a Pfizer booster
* People aged 18-49 with underlying health
* People aged 18-64 years at high risk of exposure at work or school

In addition, only those who received a second Pfizer shot at least 6 months ago are eligible. Dr. Teresa Karen, director of health at Pima County, said people who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines would have to wait until these boosters were approved.

The deployment of boosters presents new challenges for Karen and the County Health Department.

Taking into account the number of vaccinations in Pima County in the spring, Karen needs 100,000 boosters each month until January for Pima County to cover eligible individuals, and the county provides 60,000 of them. We estimate that we can provide a pharmacy to handle the rest.

Karen said the county should make more concrete plans by early next week.

“I’m trying to figure this out, so I can say I’m not sleeping again,” she said with a laugh at a press conference on Friday.

“I think the remaining question is whether or not we need to launch a larger distribution point, as we did in the past when we had four distribution points,” Karen continued. Did. “We are actively watching it, and by Monday we believe we have made a decision on whether to do it.”

According to Karen, the county’s intensive care unit has less than 5% of beds, primarily due to staff shortages. For that reason, she says the hospital will not be a booster site for now.

“The clinical system is expanding,” she said. “So ask the clinical system to make a big point. [booster] Distribution seems to be facing what it wants the clinical system to do: provide clinical care. “

Karen also said the health sector still puts a lot of emphasis on rolling up sleeves for unvaccinated people. She says the county manages about 9,000 shots a week in September.

Pima County preparing for imminent Pfizer booster rollout Source link Pima County preparing for imminent Pfizer booster rollout

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