KGUN 9NewsCoronavirus


Older people struggling for COVID shots

Worries about appointments and transportation
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Posted at 7:39 PM, Jan 21, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — COVID’s a greater risk for older people, so people aged 75 and older are a priority group for the COVID vaccine. But they say they’re having a hard time getting appointments and getting to the vaccination sites.

KGUN9 On Your Side asked Pima County’s Health Director what the county is doing about that.

By now we’ve seen plenty of video of the COVID vaccine going into the arms of people who need it most---like medical workers at very high risk because they’re treating COVID patients.

People aged 75 and older get a preferred place in line too because their age raises their risk.

But KGUN9 On Your Side is hearing from older people who wonder if they’ll ever get the chance to take that shot. They’ve had a tough time signing up on the Pima County website. They may not be good with computers, may not even have computers or internet and may not have friends or family to help them.

Jan told us she is good with computers but still spent hours and hours online and on the phone before she got through the website congestion at 2 a.m. and figured out walk-in appointments were easier to get than slots at the drive-thru's.

“And I selected the walk in, which is going to be difficult for me because of age and medical issues. And finally with the walk in, I was able to find a date, and a time that was confirmed. But that was a total of about a five hour process.”

Pima County Health Director Doctor Theresa Cullen says her department recognizes websites and phone lines are jammed and that some people may need help both booking appointments and getting to injection sites.

She says they are adding capacity especially to phone lines and says people who have computer or transportation issues can arrange help by phone.

“If you have those we will collect some basic information, someone will call you back within 24 hours and we will help facilitate, either through us or a community partner, your ability to get an appointment and get transportation for that appointment.”

But Doctor Cullen concedes long waits on the phone will probably happen and everyone will need to have patience.


Pima County shared the following phone information:

Pima County can answer questions about the registration system for non-Banner sites and can help people who call 520-222-0119 to set up an email address that is currently required to register for non-Banner sites.

Banner has a customer care center at 1-833-252-5535.

For questions after somebody has received a scheduling link from TMC MyChart, the TMC Help Line is available 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., seven days a week at 520-324-3061.