TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — A new mass vaccination site will open in Pima County next week.
The Kino Event Center, which had served as a COVID-19 testing site since July 2020, will open as a vaccine POD on April 12. The site will be open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pima County residents can register for an appointment at the new site on Arizona's registration system at podvaccine.azdhs.gov.
The county is planning to run the site with support from FEMA after some controversy. The state initially rejected FEMA's offer to set up a new vaccination site in Arizona, but Pima County pushed back on that decision.
Last week, the county's Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to reach out directly to the Department of Homeland Security for help setting up the vaccine POD, which Gov. Doug Ducey initially rejected as well.
Ultimately, after assurances from FEMA that the vaccines used at the site wouldn't come out of the state's previously allotted supply nor require additional resources from the state, state health director Dr. Cara Christ and Gov. Ducey cleared the way for the FEMA sites to open at Kino and El Pueblo Community Center.
An estimated 250,000 additional vaccines could be administered at the new FEMA sites.
For now, the Kino site and a pop-up site at El Pueblo are operating without support from FEMA, though the county is planning on receiving that help soon.