TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — A new drive-thru vaccination center is up and running at the Kino Sports Complex. It will help Pima County ramp up inoculations as they move into the 1B phase of the population.
People 75-years and older are at the front of the line when it comes to the 1B phase of Pima County’s Vaccination Plan.
“I am certainly 1B,” joked 86-Year-Old Former UMC Board Member Laura Almquist.
She was one of the first to get her shot at the Kino Sports Complex’s new drive-thru site Monday morning. The site is run by Banner UMC. People can drive up seven days a week after making an appointment through the county’s website.
“In terms of how long you should expect it to take,” said Banner UMC CEO Sarah Frost. “If you pre-registered and have everything ready to roll it should be pretty quick and seamless for our patients.”
Pima County Supervisor Dr. Matt Heinz says this location, along with others in the county are part of the effort to reach herd immunity. Getting enough people vaccinated would mean the virus can no longer circulate.
“At least 75 if not 80% herd immunity number so we can get back to normal or some modified version of normal,” he said.
The major hurdle right now is waiting for more of the vaccine to come in.
“The best thing to do is have that infrastructure in place so that when the scarcity goes away. When we have adequate supply, we can actually do those large number of vaccinations to get us to that herd immunity,” said Heinz.
Almquist says she hopes her shot is putting us one step closer to the overall goal.
“The sense is moving forward if everyone comes and takes the opportunities we have we may be able to get over it,” said Almquist.
Pima County has added the 65 to 74 age group into the 1B Phase after a state recommendation last week. The county is prioritizing those 75 and older, then educators and protective service members, before moving to the expanded age group. It will likely take several more weeks before getting to the 65 to 74 age group depending on the availability of vaccine.