The University of Arizona will become a high-capacity state vaccination site, giving the university the resources it needs to run 24/7 and vaccinate state residents beyond Pima County.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced the partnership last week.
"We're thrilled to partner with the University of Arizona and the Pima County Health Department to open a site in Southern Arizona and rapidly expand vaccine distribution,” Ducey said. “The demand for vaccine doses is high, and Arizonans have made it clear they want it. We are working hard to secure more doses from the federal government and partner with private and public organizations to get the vaccine out and protect Arizonans. My thanks to President [Dr. Robert C.] Robbins and everyone involved for their work to partner on this vaccination site."
Vaccination capacity will increase to 6,000 vaccinations per day. The university currently administers about 800 vaccines per day.
Aaron Pacheco, leader of the Pima County Health Department Communications team, told the Daily Wildcat that he hopes collaboration with the state will have a positive effect on the county by increasing its supply of vaccines.
“We need as many resources as we can get,” Pacheco said. “We certainly welcome the fact that the state is setting up their operation here. The hope is that we can continue to expand availability of the vaccine by having them join us. It's still a little too early to tell what the impact will be but with more capacity being added, we hope that more vaccine will be added as well.”
The UA will also begin vaccinating all individuals in the state eligible for vaccination during Phase 1B, not just those residing in Pima County.
President Dr. Robert C. Robbins mentioned that, with the new influx of resources from the state, he thinks some students may be eligible to receive the vaccine during Phase 1C.
“Once we move into 1C, then the question is whether our students would be eligible, and the state believes that students living in conjugate housing would be available for 1C, but that's with the proviso we've got enough vaccine to cover them,” Robbins said. “We've got probably 20,000 to 30,000 students that are that are in Tucson. I would love to see our students get vaccinated before they go on summer break because then it gives us a chance to get all of our faculty staff employees and students vaccinated.”
Individuals currently eligible to receive the vaccine can begin to register for appointments under the new schedule on Feb. 16. Administration of state-allocated vaccines began Feb. 18.
To make an appointment, eligible individuals will need to register on the state site or call 1-844-542-8201.
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