PHOENIX — Phoenix residents who live in zip code 85009 have the lowest ranking in Maricopa County in COVID-19 vaccinations.
A little over 51,000 people live in this 15.6 square mile zip code, but only 18.8% of those who qualify to get a dose have been able to receive it.
In this area -- which stretches from 19th to 35th avenues and goes from Thomas Road to Salt River near Broadway Road -- 82% of the residents are Hispanic, the median household income is less than $33,000 and about 35% live below the poverty line.
“I think it’s wrong, the way they are doing it," said Jack Tidey, an 82-year-old resident who was able to get his COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.
Tidey says he doesn’t have a car and doesn’t use computers. The only way he was able to get vaccinated against the deadly virus was, thanks to his neighbors, who he says, signed him up and gave him a ride to the site.
“I think they should have a place down this area," said Tidey. “For us to go to, instead of going far away."
For Tidey, access to the vaccine was limited by his technical skills and mode of transportation, for others like Carlos Lavaout - who is not yet eligible to get his COVID-19 dose but is not sure where to get it or how to sign up - it’s the language.
“I speak and understand very limited English," Lavaout said in Spanish. “So, it could be that I’m not getting the information 100% in Spanish."
If we recall, the Arizona Department of Health Services didn’t offer a Spanish COVID-19 registration site until two months after it began distributing doses. So, for many of the residents in 85009, the challenges have been a lack of information in their native language and vaccination sites are too far.
To help increase the numbers in zip code 85009, Maricopa County said in an email they are working with the City of Phoenix to organize pop-up events that will be tailored around this area, where registration won’t be online and information not just in English.
The county did not offer specifics on how soon these events will happen. It could be days or weeks.
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