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Pima County expands vaccinations to those 65 and older

Pfizer Vaccine
Posted at 9:27 PM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 00:39:56-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Pima County will begin to register those 65 and older for vaccinations on Thursday.

The decision comes as an effort to avoid confusion for age restrictions between the state-run point-of-distribution (POD) site at the University of Arizona and vaccination sites run by the county.

"I am worried that people will start to get confused and so rather than have different age eligibility at different locations," Dr. Francisco Garcia, Pima County Chief Medical Officer said. "We want to have uniform age eligibility across Pima County even if it poses some challenges."

Right now, the biggest concern is the supply of vaccinations.

"We know this is a complicated message," Dr. Garcia said. "On the one hand I am telling you that vaccine supply is restricted on the other hand I am telling you that more people are going to be eligible for that restricted vaccine supply."

Another issue with vaccine supply right now, is the winter weather across most of the country.

Dr. Garcia says that there are no vaccine reserves and that as soon as they get shipments, they are being administered.

While this is one step closer, essential workers in the 1B vaccination group are still going to have to wait till more vaccines arrive.

"I can't create vaccine that doesn't exist. I can't deliver vaccine that doesn't exist," Dr. Garcia said. "If we can't get that vaccine in our hands, that vaccine doesn't get into arms."

Those 65 and older looking to pre-register for COVID-19 vaccination appointments can begin at 9 a.m. on Feb. 18, here.