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Pima County's pop-up COVID vaccine clinics to continue into new year

COVID-19 Vaccines at Tucson International Airport
Posted at 9:48 PM, Dec 31, 2021

PIMA COUNTY, Ariz. (KGUN) — Lines of people are knocking out their COVID-19 vaccine before the new year.

"We'd like to get it out of the way as we're traveling and minimize risk," said Brian Melady.

"My two kids had to get their first dose. We basically just wanted them covered and make sure everybody is safe," said Ramon Mendez.

The Mendez family came to Tucson International Airport, where the Pima County Health Department organized a pop-up clinic for anyone who needs their shot(s).

"We want to meet people where they are. Making it as easy as possible to access vaccination is ultimately our goal," said Pima County Health Department Division Manager, Louie Valenzuela.

With holiday travel at its peak, Pima County knew offering free vaccines next to baggage claim would be a success.

"Our airport P.O.D. has averaged anywhere from 70 to 100 a day. That's really successful from a numbers standpoint for us, " said Valenzuela.

Pima County's effort to vaccinate doesn't stop here. In January, their next target is schools.

"We still want to make sure that kids ages 5 to 11 have an opportunity to get vaccinated. There's no better place, no safer place, to do that than their own schools. The great thing about the school locations is that they are open to the community in general," said Valenzuela.

With 2022 just around the corner, many are looking forward to a healthier year.

"We enjoy being out in public, going to restaurants and doing fun things. We just think it's more of a responsible thing to minimize risk for us and for others," said Melady.

For a full list of Pima County's COVID-19 vaccine opportunities, click here.