ARIZONA — Arizona will provide free flu shots to the uninsured or anyone with limited coverage, Gov. Doug Ducey announced Monday. The state is urging immunization as flu season begins in the middle of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In a Monday afternoon press conference, Ducey announced his administration's plan of action to fight the "perfect storm" of flu season during a pandemic.
“We are approaching this fall with a proactive mindset and plan of action to limit the impact of the flu and preserve hospital resources," he said. "I urge all Arizonans to get their flu shots. It’s never been more important to do so.”
The governor said they are preparing as if the fall will see another surge in coronavirus cases. To help combat this, the state is working to provide shots to everyone, especially those in underserved communities.
The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System is allowing certified pharmacists to administer the flu vaccine to children currently enrolled in the program and is increasing payments to providers for vaccine administration. The organization is also offering $10 gift cards to members who receive a flu shot. 1.8 million people are currently enrolled in the system.
Vaccines will also be administered at coronavirus testing sites to ensure easy access for those without insurance or with little coverage. It is also available at pharmacies and other health care facilities.
For Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ, the sooner people get vaccinated, the better. She said the typical flu season runs from October to March but its spread is unpredictable.
“The influenza vaccine is safe and is the best prevention tool we have against the influenza virus," Christ said. "We need everyone to do their part to stop the spread of influenza and COVID-19 in our communities, starting now.”