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Fri, Sept. 18

Arizonans urged to get flu shots; healthcare officials prepare for dual COVID-19, Influenza epidemics

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PHOENIX⁠ — As Arizona continues efforts to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, state health agencies and Gov. Doug Ducey are partnering with health care providers and businesses to prepare for the upcoming flu season.

Ducey was joined by leaders representing hospitals, pharmacies, doctors, nurses, public health, universities and more to announce a plan of action to increase influenza vaccination rates and urge Arizonans to get the flu shot.

“The overlap of COVID-19 and flu season presents a perfect storm — and we aren’t taking any chances,” Ducey said. “I urge all Arizonans to get their flu shots. It’s never been more important to do so.”

“Every Arizonan who can get the influenza vaccine should get it right away,” said Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ. “The influenza vaccine is safe and is the best prevention tool we have against the influenza virus. We need everyone to do their part to stop the spread of influenza and COVID-19 in our communities, starting now.”

Arizona is taking enhanced steps to expand access to the flu vaccine and encourages more Arizonans to get it. As part of these efforts, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) is issuing an administrative action to enable certified pharmacists to administer the flu vaccine to children currently enrolled in AHCCCS and is increasing payments to providers for vaccine administration.

In addition, AHCCCS is offering $10 gift cards to members who get their flu vaccine. Data from other states show these actions have increased the vaccine medication rates among Medicaid members by upwards of 50 percent.

Additional actions being taken by the Arizona Department of Health Services include:

  • Significantly increasing the amount of influenza vaccines available to uninsured and underinsured Arizonans;
  • Launching a public education campaign - "Roll Up Your Sleeve;”
  • Partnering with health care providers and pharmacies;
  • Conducting outreach to businesses, creating a “business toolkit." The toolkit will provide information and resources, including guidance for businesses to set up their own flu vaccine clinics;
  • Expanding the flu vaccine at COVID-19 testing sites;
  • And creating an online “Vaccine Finder” available soon.

For more information visit azhealth.gov.

Information provided by the Office of the Governor

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