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Limited vaccine supply affecting Maricopa and Santa Cruz counties

Limited vaccine supply affecting Maricopa and Santa Cruz counties
Posted at 1:28 PM, Jan 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-24 18:17:16-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Maricopa and Santa Cruz counties continue the vaccination process.

At this point, both have a common challenge that medical professionals say is concerning: the number of vaccines coming in.

Santa Cruz County officials say when it comes to staff, everyone is stepping up to the plate, it’s vaccines they need.

“Our number one challenge is the number of vaccines we are receiving,” said Jennifer St. John.

Jennifer St. John is the Health Services Director for Santa Cruz County.

She says the second challenge is timely delivery.

“Because to stand up 1,400 appointments from Thursday of last week to Wednesday is a Hercules task,” she told KGUN9.

A task she says they’ve been able to meet with the help of their partners.

“We have Santa Cruz County involved. We have the City of Nogales involved. We have other people helping us put it together,” said Dr. Eladio with the Mariposa Community Health Center.

Dr. Eladio Pereira is the Chief Medical Officer at the Mariposa Community Health Center.

He says they started vaccinating at the health center in December, keeping them on track to potentially finish out the 1B group by the end of next week.

They should average giving roughly 400 vaccines a day if supply meets demand.

“But it’s hard to schedule appointments if you don’t know when the vaccine is going to arrive,” added Dr. Eladio.

So, Santa Cruz County have been rolling with the punches.

Jeff Terrell, the Health Services Director With Santa Cruz County, says out of the 1,800 to 1,900 CBP and Border Patrol staff, approximately 200 have been vaccinated.

Here’s the hold-up:

“You know if we get 1,000 doses, we can’t just say we’re going to give them to CBP and we can’t just say we’re going to give them out to the 75 and older group. We’re trying to work it out so we can spread it out to everybody,” Terrell told KGUN9.

Aside from the limited vaccine supply, Terrell says things are going smoothly at both the Nogales Recreation Center and the Mariposa Community Health Center.

“We’re looking at maybe about a 30 minute total time that they come in, they register, they get vaccinated, and do their waiting, and then they’re out the door,” Terrell added.

From here on out supply and delivery time will determine if, and when, folks get the vaccine.

“If you don’t know how many vaccines you’re going to get, it doesn’t matter,” said Dr. Eladio

“We can get the staff, we just need the vaccines,” added St. John.

For more information on how to register to get a vaccine in Maricopa County, click here.

For more information on how to register to get a vaccine in Santa Cruz County, click here.