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Green Valley leads Pima County in vaccination rate

Posted at 5:26 PM, May 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 20:26:34-04

GREEN VALLEY, Ariz. (KGUN9) — While Pima County and the state have vaccinated around 30 to 40 percent of the population, some communities are boasting of vaccination rates over 70 to 80 percent. Those numbers sound like herd immunity might be being reached, but experts warn to be cautious until surrounding areas catch up.

The people we talked to in Green Valley say they know the pandemic is still going on, but things do feel different lately.

“It feels absolutely great,” said resident Drew Blowers.

The most vaccinated zip code in Pima County lies in Green Valley with more than 80 percent of adults fully vaccinated and nearly 90 percent having received at least the first shot.

“I want to see the Wildcats and my Minnesota Gophers, I want to see 50,000 fans in the stands,” said Blowers who received both doses some time ago.

The small community never had a 24-7 mass vaccination site, but they reached nearly all residents with the help of the local fire district and hospital partnering with sheriff volunteers and the Pima County Health Department.

“And then 5 weeks later we pulled everyone together and ran all 3,000 people through the Santa Cruz Regional Hospital,” said Green Valley Council President Debbie Kenyon.

With an average age of over 70, Fire District Spokesperson L.T. Pratt says the distribution was urgent.

“It was all hands-on deck, and everyone worked together to get the vaccinations out any way we could,” he said.

But even with a high vaccination rate, Green Valley isn’t considered to have reached herd immunity yet. This is because it is part of the greater metro area with many people traveling back and forth. Experts urge caution until the rest of the metro area catches up.

“It doesn’t bother me to wear a mask when I'm in a store. It makes me more comfortable if people have masks on because I’m used to it,” said Nan Howard who does her grocery shopping in Green Valley.

The people we talked to say in Green Valley the path out of the pandemic seems pretty simple.

“Straight and narrow, get the vaccine, get it done, get open,” said Blowers.