Tempe, AZ – Over the next month, the City of Tempe will launch an all-out push to get more eligible people vaccinated against COVID-19 and protect our community.
COVID cases across the country —particularly those linked to the highly contagious Delta variant – are increasing and unvaccinated people are at highest risk of hospitalization and death. Tempe wants to focus outreach and vaccination efforts on local areas with low vaccination rates, so the city is rallying with many community partners to host several free rapid testing and vaccination clinics in the coming weeks.
“Don’t wait. Get the Covid-19 vaccine now and curb your risk,” said Tempe Mayor Corey Woods. “Let’s take this simple step to protect each other and our community.”
A recent survey showed that Tempe residents who had not yet been vaccinated wanted more information to help them make their choice as well as evening and weekend vaccine opportunities. Since the 85281 zip code has typically experienced the highest rates of COVID-19 and the lowest rates of vaccination in Tempe, the current effort will be focused there. An emphasis will be placed on reaching younger people and our Hispanic community.
Tempe has already mailed postcards to thousands of people in 85281, placed yard signs with vaccination information in 16 parks in the zip code, at fire stations and on digital marquees.
The redoubled outreach efforts and the new clinics start this Tuesday, Aug. 17. At 2 p.m., the City of Tempe will host Vaccine 411, an informational hour designed to answer question about the COVID-19 vaccine, testing, research and more. The city’s first pop-up vaccination and testing clinic takes place just an hour after the program ends – 4 p.m. at Jaycee Park, 805 W. Fifth St. This event, hosted with Aris, will focus on vaccinating people who are homeless, but everyone is welcome.
More events are scheduled this month, see a listing below. Free rapid testing with 15 minute results is available at all events except the Mountain Park Health event on Aug. 23.
The timing of this effort is important. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that states with a lower than 50% vaccination rate experience significantly higher numbers of COVID-19 cases – sometimes double that of states that have 70% vaccination rates. As of Aug. 13, Arizona had a 46% fully-vaccinated rate and 53.6% of Arizonans had received one dose. About 57% of Tempe’s eligible population has received one dose of the vaccine with about 52% being fully vaccinated.
Another significant factor is the increasing dominance of the Delta variant in Arizona. The Delta variant is spreading most widely among younger, unvaccinated people. Tempe’s 85281 is the city’s youngest zip code.
Tempe makes decisions on how to best reduce COVID-19 in the community through metrics that can be found on tempe.gov/indicators. These include COVID-19 cases, tests that are positive for COVID-19, EMS calls for suspected COVID-19, wastewater data and also vaccination rates.
Watch Vaccine 411
Join us live online at tempe.gov/Tempe11 or on Facebook.com/CityofTempe for a one-hour program about the science behind the COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Joshua LaBaer, Executive Director of ASU Biodesign Institute, will join Asst. Chief Andrea Glass and Deputy Chief Nick Ells, who leads Tempe’s vaccine outreach, for this discussion. Details: tempe.gov/Vaccine411
Do you have questions you’d like to ask? Email firstname.lastname@example.org through end of day on Monday, Aug. 16. We may also take some questions during the Facebook Live event, time permitting. Post your questions in the comment area at facebook.com/CityofTempe.
Questions about vaccination events: 480-350-4311
Nikki Ripley, Communication and Media Relations Manager 480-313-8850