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Green Valley vaccine site wraps up, volunteers want to continue vaccinating

Pima County vaccine allotment drops
Green Valley vaccines.jpg
Posted at 4:50 PM, Feb 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-08 20:39:49-05

GREEN VALLEY, Ariz. (KGUN) — During a press conference Friday, Pima County Health Director Dr. Theresa Cullen addressed the significant drop in vaccines coming to Pima County and said it led county leaders to rethink some of their rural outreach vaccine sites — like Green Valley.

The vaccine site was up and running for three days and volunteers were able to vaccinate about 3,000 people, according to Dr. Cullen.

The group of volunteers included 50 Green Valley nurses that came out of retirement to serve their community.

“It was like a dream come true. To have a nearby where everybody could access it. Because I can promise you these people probably would not have driven into Tucson,” said Lynne Severe.

Severe runs the Retired Nurses of Green Valley and she worked to get the short-lived vaccine site up and running after she explained she noticed there weren't opportunities to get the retirement community vaccinated right away.

In fact, Severe said the nurses were working up to 14 hours per day to make sure their community was vaccinated.

"We were going and then we had we all felt like the rug was pulled out from underneath us. And we didn't address all the issues at the community. It was just just a taste of perfection,” explained Severe.

That’s because after the site was up and running for three days the county wrapped things up.

”This significant decrease [in vaccine doses] which was unanticipated has caused us to rethink very closely our other outreach clinics beyond these five pods,” said Dr. Theresa Cullen, Pima County health director.

Dr. Cullen explained during a press briefing held on Friday that the county plans to return.

"Our plan whenever we have a mobile pod like this is to ensure we can deliver the second shot," said Dr. Cullen.

Dr. Cullen also explained the county was working to make sure rural areas of the county were still served.

But, it still feels like a sting to Severe who feels like it’s all about Maricopa County.

Nonetheless, the county said it is keeping a close eye on the inequity of vaccine distribution to rural and underserved groups.