TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — While the University of Arizona works to vaccinate everyone in the education community, it’s also trying to keep students from becoming COVID 19 super spreaders.
The University says most students are being careful, but the ones who aren’t could help the pandemic last longer.
The University of Arizona’s become a busy vaccination site focused on teachers and other education workers. University President Doctor Robert Robbins says UA sites vaccinated almost 13 hundred people Friday. The University says only about a third of the shots have gone to UA’s own; the vaccinations include public school workers and Pima Community College. Because the doses come though Pima County the County’s vaccine shortage affects U of A too.
Doctor Robbins and former Surgeon General Doctor Richard Carmona say vaccines are critical, but they won’t control the epidemic on their own. They say people need to stay careful about wearing masks, washing hands and keeping socially distant.
Doctor Carmona says most students are living up to that, but even after many months of warnings, CART---the Campus Area Response Team of UA officials and Tucson Police is still finding large student parties off campus.
“We had three events with 50 to 99 people there that is dangerous. Each one of those people are potential spreaders in a super spreader event. We don't know 40% of people or more are asymptomatic. We cannot allow this to happen.”
Doctors Carmona and Robbins are urging parents to try to steer students towards being responsible --- and part of that is for young people to realize even if the virus is usually less dangerous to them, they can help spread it to people at much higher risk.
Doctor Robbins says, “Those with medical issues, elderly individuals. Certainly, we know that this is more dangerous in communities of color and lower socioeconomic neighborhoods. So we've got to do our part. As a good citizen of humanity to follow the rules and not spread this stuff.”
And the two doctors say reckless behavior, and resistance to taking the vaccine will prolong the pandemic.