TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Governor Doug Ducey came to the University of Arizona’s vaccination site Wednesday, talking up the state’s vaccination efforts and continuing his criticism of the Federal response to a surge of immigrants crossing the border.
You can expect the UArizona vaccination site on the main mall to get a lot busier now that the state’s opened vaccinations to people aged 16 and older. The Pfizer vaccine -- which is the only COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. available to those aged 16 to 18 -- is the main one used there.
The governor says the state’s done a great job making vaccinations available. Now he hopes people reluctant to get shots will put fears aside and help create the mass immunity that will put the virus on ice.
State health director Dr. Cara Christ gave her boss, Gov. Ducey, his second shot of the two-shot series. She gave him shot number one in Glendale three weeks ago when the state opened shots to age 55 and older. Now shots are open to all adults.
In a one-on-one interview with KGUN9, the Governor said Arizona’s COVID stats are trending in the right direction. He’s urging Arizonans to keep things that way by getting vaccinated.
“If you haven’t yet contracted COVID-19, I don’t want you to get it, and you can get there by getting this vaccine," he said. "If there's a slight uptick, that can happen. I don’t think it will stop the course that we’re on right now, which is very positive.”
The governor is continuing to say President Biden encouraged a surge of illegal immigration that’s left authorities struggling to handle it. We asked what the state can and should do.
The governor says the state can’t have success on the border without a successful partnership with the Federal Government.
“In the interim, we’ll have the Border Strike Force, the Department of Public Safety and our county sheriffs standing in the gap," Ducey said.
KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked: “Is there anything the state can do to assist with the influx, especially unaccompanied minors?”
"Well the state works with our charitable organizations, our NGOs -- 13,000 kids in the custody of the Federal Government -- this is a real concern," he said. "We never see these kinds of numbers in February and March. It gives me great concern as to what’s coming in April and May.”
It’s common for presidents to appoint Vice Presidents to handle high-profile issues. The governor has criticized President Biden’s decision to make Vice President Harris the point person on border issues. He says Harris has never shown much interest in a secure border.