Phoenix, Arizona - A Mesa distribution center operated by Dexcom, maker of innovative continuous glucose monitoring products for people with diabetes, will serve as the Valley’s first state-run indoor drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination site.
“As the hot summer months approach, we want to ensure our vaccination sites continue to operate efficiently,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “Health care professionals, volunteers, staff, and those getting vaccinated need access to safe, weather-friendly sites as vaccine doses are administered, and this indoor site helps address that need. My thanks to Dexcom and the Arizona Department of Health Services for their proactive work to protect Arizonans.”
Opening Monday, April 5, this Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) site will replace the outdoor one at Chandler-Gilbert Community College, maintaining an important presence in the East Valley. Those who received first doses at the Chandler-Gilbert facility on March 14 and after have been scheduled for their second doses at the Dexcom site.
“We’re grateful for the support from Dexcom and other partners to make this indoor site a reality and maintain our momentum getting vaccine to Arizonans,” said ADHS Director Dr. Cara Christ. “Patients, staff, and volunteers will be grateful as well since we’re nearing the point when operating outside will become hazardous as temperatures climb.”
The site will start out offering 3,000-4,000 appointments a day, operating from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. It can support 12,000 appointments and 24/7 operation. Appointments are required for those visiting the site.
Dexcom’s 500,000-square-foot Mesa Regional Distribution Center is located at 8046 E. Ray Road, near the Loop 202 Santan Freeway and Power Road. It is used to receive and test the quality of materials and components for Dexcom CGM systems, as well as enable global distribution of those systems. About 30,000 square feet will be dedicated to the state-run mass-vaccination center through June 30.
“At Dexcom, our mission is to help improve the health of others, so when asked if we could provide our facility for an indoor mass-vaccination site, we didn’t hesitate," said Jim Kasselmann, senior director of manufacturing in Mesa for Dexcom. “We are proud to manufacture our products in Mesa, and anytime we can help our local community, that is what we will do.”
Other partners in the site include the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, city of Mesa, Walgreens, and Arizona State University.
As summer approaches, ADHS and its partners are finalizing plans for continuing mass-vaccination operations at other sites. This positions the state to be ready for additional vaccine supplies expected from the federal government. In early April, for example, the State Farm Stadium vaccination site will convert to overnight operation to protect staff, volunteers, and patients from extreme heat. To replace that capacity at State Farm Stadium and other sites, the state is identifying indoor venues allowing for continued vaccination.
Information about all vaccination sites across Arizona can be found at azhealth.gov/findvaccine, and registration is available for state sites and many others at podvaccine.azdhs.gov. Those without computer access or needing extra help registering can call 1-844-542-8201 to be connected with someone who can assist.