ARIZONA NEWS

Gov. Doug Ducey, state health officials urge all Arizonans to get a flu shot

Aug 31, 2020, 3:56 PM | Updated: 4:15 pm

PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey and state health officials urged all Arizonans to get their flu shot amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic during a briefing on Monday.

“The overlap of COVID-19 and flu season presents a perfect storm and we aren’t taking any chances,” Ducey said.

“We are approaching this fall with a proactive mindset and plan of action to limit the impact of the flu and preserve hospital resources. … I urge all Arizonans to get their flu shots. It’s never been more important to do so.”

Flu season typically runs from October to May, with January to March being the hardest hit months.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ducey says that getting the flu shot this season is imperative.

Ducey added that the state health department will also be “significantly” increasing the number of influenza vaccines available to both uninsured and underinsured Arizonans.

“We are expanding flu shots to certain COVID-19 testing sites throughout the state,” Ducey said. “It is simple: As early as next month, when you stop by certain sites for a COVID-19 test, you will be able to get a flu shot as well.”

The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System will be issuing an administrative action to allow certified pharmacists to give the flu vaccine to children currently enrolled in AHCCCS.

The agency will also be offering $10 gift cards to members who get a flu vaccine.

Ducey said that data from other states shows that these actions have increased the number of vaccine medication rates among Medicaid members up to 50%.

The Arizona Department of Health Services will also be launching a public education campaign called “Roll Up Your Sleeve” in addition to an online vaccine finder, which will be available soon, Ducey said.

“As a matter of public health, it is always important for Arizonans to receive a flu vaccine to help minimize community-wide infection and protect vulnerable populations,” Executive Director of the Health System Alliance of Arizona Jennifer Carusetta said in a press release Monday.

“However, this year it is more important than ever that Arizonans heed the advice of public health experts and get a flu vaccine as we manage the COVID-19 pandemic in our state. … We urge all Arizonans to contact their primary care physician, local pharmacy or community health center to schedule a flu vaccine and to continue to follow the CDC guidelines.”

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Gov. Doug Ducey, state health officials urge all Arizonans to get a flu shot