Gila County vaccine prioritization

Gila County has moved into Phase 2 of vaccine distribution, which includes the general population.

Outpacing many Arizona counties, Gila County health officials announced Friday that they were expanding COVID vaccination efforts to include those residents 65+.

There are currently three facilities providing the vaccine to residents, Banner Health Clinic Payson, Dr. Ali Askari’s office and Ponderosa Family Care.

“Thanks to the dedicated hard work from: Command Solutions 4, Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center, Banner Health Clinic Payson, Mogollon Health Alliance and Kenny Evans, Ponderosa Family Care, Genoa Pharmacy, Hope Family Care, Arizona National Guard, and all of the enthusiastic community volunteers and CERT members, Gila County is once again one of the top performing counties in vaccinating our population. Due to all the hard work on behalf of Gila County, we have received increased vaccination doses each week,” said Michael O’Driscoll, county health director.

The county is now vaccinating those up to group 1C, which includes health care workers, teachers, essential services and critical industry workers and those 65+.

The county announced recently it has scheduled the first mass vaccination drive-thru event in Globe Feb. 13-14 at High Desert Middle School.

O’Driscoll said they are working with Todd Whitney and his team at Command Solutions 4 to conduct a similar mass vaccination drive-thru clinic in northern Gila County on Feb. 20-21 with details forthcoming.

At the Globe event, the county hopes to administer 2,000 Moderna vaccines.

To register for a COVID vaccine in Payson, there are three ways to make an appointment.

• Banner Health Clinic Payson, 117 E. Main St., Ste A100

Currently, this clinic is booked out until the end of February with more appointments becoming available soon for the first week of March.

• Dr. Ali Askari, 1106 N. Beeline Highway. Call their office at 928-474-5286, email bjackson@azmds.net or text 928-978-2745.

• Ponderosa Family Care, 127 E. Main St., Suite D. Call or text 928-978-9168.

If you’d like to make an appointment for the Globe drive-thru clinic being held Feb. 13-14, visit https://podvaccine.azdhs.gov/. Once on the Arizona Department of Health Services website, create a new account or log in if you already are a user. Once logged in, click “Book Appointment.” Complete the qualifying information and uncheck the box next to the zip code. If you live more than 50 miles from Globe. Click on “Gila County HDMS Clinic” and choose a day and time.

For questions regarding the state’s website, call 602-542-1000 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

For questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, call one of the following call center numbers between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.. Monday through Friday:

Southern Gila County: 928-402-8888.

Northern Gila County: 928-402-4335.

Contact the editor at abechman@payson.com

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