‘Street medicine’ teams tasked with overcoming falsehoods, dispensing shots in Tucson

A couple mornings each week, Marketa Jansky wanders outside the Casa Maria Soup Kitchen asking the same question of anyone milling around: Would you like to get the vaccine today?

As a nurse practitioner with one of El Rio Health‘s homeless outreach teams, Jansky and her colleagues are focused on bringing the COVID-19 vaccine to people living in shelters or on the streets.

So far, El Rio providers have fully immunized nearly 700 Pima County residents experiencing homelessness but more often than not, people are turning down the shot.

“Some of the patients don’t believe in the vaccine or they believe it’s unsafe to use. They are afraid,” said Luis Murillo, a registered nurse who was working with Jansky last Tuesday. “We’re trying to work really hard to inform them about the misinformation going around. Our goal is to develop vaccine confidence.”

Read more at tucson.com