The Show on KJZZ

Q&AZ: How Can An Arizona Senior Get The COVID-19 Vaccine At Home?

By Kathy Ritchie
Published: Friday, April 9, 2021 - 11:38am
Updated: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - 12:12pm

Vaccination card
Sky Schaudt/KJZZ
A vaccination card for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Through KJZZ's Q&AZ reporting project, several listeners have asked how homebound seniors can get the coronavirus vaccine. In Arizona, efforts are underway to make that happen.

For months, people in Arizona who wanted the coronavirus vaccine either had to wait their turn or compete for an appointment. Now, one health care group says it has plenty of supply for anyone who wants it, including the homebound. 

April Rhodes is the CEO at Spectrum Healthcare Group, which operates several COVID-19 vaccine pods in Yavapai County. 

"You know, it's been our goal to get as many people access to the vaccine as we possibly could, you know, that want it," she said. 

→ Q&AZ: What You Need To Know About Getting The Coronavirus Vaccine In Arizona

It also operates a mobile unit and will travel to people’s homes or underserved areas.

"We've been out to Jerome, Wilhoit, Congress, Yarnell, Ash Fork. This past week we went to Crown King," she said. "And so when we go out into those areas, people may have to come out of their homes to get to the central location. But at times, if we're aware of them ahead of time, then we're able to deploy people from the clinic to people's homes in those areas."

Verde Valley Caregivers Coalition is also providing the vaccine to homebound seniors.

Rhodes says it is using the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine, which has been a game changer when it comes to reaching homebound seniors and those in more rural communities.

Despite the fact that Spectrum is going out and trying to reach underserved populations, Rhodes says it may soon scale back their physical locations. 

"So, there's a lot of resources dedicated to making those pods run, and when we're seeing only 150 to 200 people per day per site," she said. "We want to keep providing it as much as possible, but it's hard to continue to provide that level of resources."

Rhodes isn't exactly sure why demand has dropped but says part of it could have to do with how to get the vaccine, because in the beginning it was difficult to access.

"And so people may just feel like, 'Oh, I'm not gonna try that again,' or 'I don't know how to get access to it.'" 

Rhodes says anyone can now walk into one of their physical PODS and get the vaccination. Or, if they're homebound they can call 844-WHERE-U-R and set up an appointment in Yavapai or Maricopa counties. 

Organizations Serving Seniors And People With Disabilities

Spectrum Healthcare Group is offering at-home vaccinations for those who can't medically get out to a vaccine site.

  • Some counties and cities are coordinating mobile vaccines, although Maricopa County is only focusing on AHCCCS members right now — but Spectrum Healthcare is providing free at-home vaccinations for nearly half the state. 
  • Contact them at 877-634-7333 or online at spectrumhg.org/vaccine.

Ability360 Sports and Fitness Center

Vaccine Type: Pfizer (second dose scheduled onsite).
Organizers: Ability360, Arizona Department of Health Services and Passport Health.
When: Saturday afternoon, April 10, 2:30-9 p.m.; Sunday, April 11, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, May 1, 2:30-9 p.m.; Sunday, May 2, 8 a.m.-6 p.m., for second dose 
Where: 5031 E. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ 85034.
Details: Special Olympics volunteers will be helping. Sign up at ability360.org/cal-events/covid-19-vaccination-event.

S.T.A.R Behavioral Health

Vaccine Type: Moderna.
When: Every weekday.
Where: 3003 N. Central Ave #675, Phoenix, AZ 85012
Contact: 602-231-0071
Details: Walk-up and pedestrian access site.

Grand Canyon University

Vaccine Type: Pfizer from Maricopa County Public Health.
When: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Appointment may or may not be required.
Where: 3300 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85017
Contact: podvaccine.azdhs.gov or call 844-542-8201. You can also arrive in the morning in person to obtain a vaccine.

Southern Arizona Association for Visually Impaired (SAAVI) Office

Vaccine Type: Johnson & Johnson.
When: April 16 from 9 a.m.-11 a.m.
Where: 3767 E. Grant Road, Tucson, AZ 85716
Contact: 520-795-1331
Details: Site is open to all. Transportation options available.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The story has been updated to remove an incorrect provider. 

Coronavirus Aging Health + Medicine Vaccines

One Source, My Connection!