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Future COVID vaccinations to shift to doctor offices

Boosters likely to be at offices or pharmacies
Posted at 7:48 PM, May 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-21 22:55:10-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — As the pandemic evolves, the state's vaccination program is evolving too. State Health Director Doctor Cara Christ is looking ahead to how we will get COVID vaccines and boosters in the future.

COVID vaccination sites are already moving indoors because of hot weather. The state health director expects COVID shots to become something you’ll get the more conventional way---at a pharmacy or from your doctor.

Vaccination sites like the one Tucson Medical Center runs at Udall Park are an emergency response to an emergency situation. State Health Director Doctor Cara Christ says statewide about 180 health providers can give the vaccine in their offices now because they have met the standards to be classified as pandemic providers able to store the vaccines safely and handle the extra record keeping required.

She says now that the CDC says it’s okay to get the COVID shot at the same time as other vaccinations, children can get a COVID vaccination shot in the same session as other vaccinations normally required to go back to school.

“This will make it easy on families and providers to make sure they’re not missing an opportunity to vaccinate for any type of vaccine.”

Health experts think COVID vaccine boosters will probably be required. Doctor Christ says it’s not clear how soon that will happen. She says they could be a year or more away and by that time you will probably not need to get them at a mass vaccination site.

“We would anticipate by that time, providers wouldn't need to be pandemic providers anymore pandemic vaccine providers anymore. There would be readily available in pharmacies and community health centers and those types of things so we would imagine that it would be more like a flu vaccine distribution at that point.”

But Doctor Christ says if demand for boosters becomes very high the state has learned how to open a mass vaccination site in just a few days.