Prescott-area COVID-19 vaccination venues to open this week, starting with former Sears building
School district buildings on the list; Findlay Toyota Center may be next
COVID-19 vaccines are on their way — in a big way.
On Thursday and Friday, Jan. 21 and 22, the former Sears store at the Prescott Gateway Mall location off Highway 69 will be open between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. for by-appointment only mass vaccinations for all educators and child care workers not affiliated with either Prescott or Humboldt unified school districts.
On that same day, the 10-campus HUSD will have a mass vaccination at its district offices on Robert Road for its employees during its business hours.
Those vaccinations, to be dispensed by Spectrum Health Care, will be scheduled through the schools. On Friday, Jan. 22, PUSD will have a similar vaccination event for all its employees in the Prescott High School gymnasium.
Yavapai County Community Health Services Director Leslie Horton on Monday, Jan. 18, announced these first major vaccinating events, the beginning of what is expected to be available in the coming weeks and months in both Prescott and Prescott Valley.
The Findlay Toyota Center, with a potential second site, have been identified for vaccinations in Prescott Valley, but a schedule is not yet able to be revealed as they must be arranged around other scheduled events, Horton explained.
The hope is that identified sites will be open six and seven days a week, she said.
In rolling out the plan for this week, Horton emphasized that these are restricted to those particular priority groups, with the Sears vaccination event also open to any health care professionals or 1A-priority professionals or individuals who have yet to be vaccinated, Horton said.
Again, though, this is appointment-only, with those to be scheduled through the health department website at yavapai.us/chs, she said.
The COVID-19 Moderna vaccinations are issued in two doses — the first to be followed by a second dose in 28 days. Those are typically scheduled at the same time.
The Sears vaccination site will be manned by Yavapai Regional Medical Center staff, local paramedics and eligible health department nurses able to administer what is expected to be at least 500 doses a day up to 1,000 daily doses, Horton said.
YRMC expects to have that site open six days a week, noting that after the first priority group the site will be available for the next tier of eligibility that will be those 65 and older and essential workers.
All those individuals, too, must make appointments through the either the health department, or if they need assistance, by contacting the office hotline for scheduling help, she said.
Because of this area’s demographic, Horton said the 65-and-older priority group likely will constitute about 100,000 potential vaccine clients, and so that could take a few months to accomplish. Essential workers are also listed in that same category, she noted.
The expectation is that these sites will remain open multiple days a week as long as vaccine doses are available and people are in need of getting vaccinated, Hortons aid.
To assist with this key public health mission, Horton said she has been in contact with the Arizona Department of Health for National Guard assistance. She said they have been pledged 15 vaccinators per site plus 15 additional administrative support personnel.
The local police departments, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office and volunteer citizen patrol will assist with onsite security, she said.
This rollout has required a yeoman’s effort by many agencies, but Horton said the collaboration has been strong, and she is so pleased to alert the public this life-saving vaccine is on the way.
“It is great to see the support pour in for this,” Horton said.
To learn more, visit the YCCHS online COVID-19 Vaccine Information page at https://www.yavapai.us/chs/Home/COVID-19/Vaccine.
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