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COVID shots: Pima Co. says everyone could have them in June

Top two priority groups done by March 31
Posted at 6:37 PM, Jan 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-05 20:37:39-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Pima County should be able to get COVID vaccine to the first two groups of vaccine recipients by the end of March---that’s the estimate from Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry.

The County is planning large regional vaccination sites, and smaller sites for outlying areas.

Medical workers began getting the first shot of the two-shot vaccines just under three weeks ago. They are Phase 1A. County administrator Chuck Huckelberry told Pima Supervisors vaccinations are going fast enough for Phase 1B shots to start.

It’s a big job. 1B includes teachers and people older than 75. The County estimates those two groups include more than 120 thousand people. 1B also includes first responders, and essential workers like workers in utilities, public transportation and food distribution.

The Administrator thinks 1A and 1B can be complete by March 31st, with the rest of the population vaccinated by June.

Huckleberry expects the County to set up five large vaccination sites at locations like Banner UMC and Tucson Medical Center and arrange smaller sites for outlying areas like Green Valley and Ajo.

The plan relies on people signing up on-line, but recognizes not everyone’s able to do that.

Huckleberry says they hit a situation like that at TMC.

“An individual who got in the queue wasn’t really registered, didn't know how to register, they were then pulled over into another line and registered and then received a vaccination.”

Supervisor Adelita Grijalva noted high infection rates on the South and West sides. She wanted to be sure Spanish speakers will hear how to get their immunizations.

“I’m going to be asking for a lot of cooperation with Spanish language media with television and with press releases, all of that to ensure the messages are getting out and I don’t want us to assume everyone has access to the internet.”

Huckelberry said the County will rely on Spanish language radio to help spread the vaccine information people will need.