News 11's Adonis Albright walks us through the process of rolling up your sleeve
YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Getting a COVID-19 vaccine at the new state-supported POD site at the Yuma Civic Center takes less than 30 minutes. It's quick, easy, and best of all: painless.
The first step is to log on to the Arizona Department of Health Services website, or book an appointment over the phone by dialing 1-844-542-820. Once you've booked an appointment, all you will need to bring is a photo ID once you check in.
You don't need to show up early, all you have to do is show up on time. After check-in, you will be directed to one of 10 vaccination lanes. When it's your turn, the nurse will call you over to receive your shot inside a private booth, and tell you what you need to know about receiving your COVID-19 vaccine.
After rolling up your sleeve, you'll be waiting in a socially distanced observation area for 15 minutes to make sure you don't have any side effects. Before you leave, a site worker will approach you to schedule your appointment for a second dose.
If you are unable to book an appointment either online or over the phone, the clinic also takes up to 50 walk-ins a day.
Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC) is receiving thousands of doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which means there are thousands of appointments available.
“We have lots of availability for appointments. We’ve received a shipment last week of over 7,000 Pfizer vaccines and we’re receiving another 7,000 this week as well. So there are more than 5,000 appointments available currently", said Kristina McNair, Director of Continuous Improvement & Project Development at YRMC.
The state-supported POD site is only offering the Pfizer vaccine for first-time doses. If you have received your first dose of the Moderna vaccine, you will need to contact the hospital directly to schedule your second dose.
With the Brazilian COVID-19 variant detected in Yuma County in March, there's concern that if not enough people are getting vaccinated, there's potential the virus could mutate and become harder to vaccinate against. That's according to Dr. Bharat Magu, the Chief Medical Officer at YRMC.
“For variants to go to that point, they will have to replicate many times over, and we want to stop that. How do we stop variants from getting to that point? It’s to get vaccinated so that variants don’t have the source body to replicate and mutate and go to that point. That’s why getting to herd immunity earlier is the only definitive way to make sure that we don’t get a completely new virus affecting our community."