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FEMA vax site for Pima County a no-go

State and Feds did not reach ops agreement
Posted at 7:21 PM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-29 14:35:37-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Pima County will not get a large COVID vaccination site run with Federal resources. After weeks of wrangling with the state over arrangements for the site, Pima County and state officials say there will be no agreement. But the County does have a Plan B.

To have FEMA run a big vaccination site for Pima County, Arizona State government had to make a formal request. Governor Ducey refused, saying he’d rather have the state runs things. After a few days, the state agreed to request the site after all but the State and the Feds never agreed on details of how the site would operate.

During this week’s meeting, County Administrator Chuck Huckleberry received an email saying the state was giving up on the plan.

Huckleberry says now instead of a large vaccination site, he’ll ask FEMA for six mobile vaccination sites able to do 250 to 350 shots per unit, per day. He says unlike large sites, the mobile sites don’t need state approval.

He says, “And this allows us to have the greatest flexibility to get into the community, and folks that actually come and be vaccinated.”

Mobile clinics were already part of the county’s strategy to vaccinate people who want to be immunized but who may have trouble reaching a large vaccination site.

Chief Pima County Medical Officer Doctor Francisco Garcia says, “We also know that there are folks for whom vaccination is an inconvenience. It's an inconvenience for a variety of reasons because they don't have the technology, they don't have the time, because they don't have the wherewithal, mobility issues, language barriers. We need to decrease those barriers.

Pima County is also working on programs to persuade people who resist getting vaccinated that they really should get that shot.