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Potential vaccine supply issues as state POD gets ready to open at University of Arizona

Cars going through the POD at the University of Arizona
Posted at 4:41 PM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 12:13:40-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The state-run vaccine point-of-distribution (POD) at the University of Arizona is getting ready to open on Thursday. One concern though, is vaccine supply.

Dr. Robert Robbins, President of the University of Arizona, said that they are assured they are getting at least 1,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine for this week.

"We're ramping up. We've been doing 1,000 a day. So that's grossly inadequate for the efficiency that we can run our POD," Dr. Robbins said.

The POD has primarily been given Pfizer vaccines up until this point.

"We are hoping that it will be at least 1,000 Moderna and the balance in Pfizer," Dr. Robbins said.

The state has not been able to say for sure how many vaccines the University of Arizona POD will get yet. Robbins said weather across the country could be playing an impact.

Dr. Robbins said that as a state POD if they want to run 6,000 to 8,000 vaccines a day, they will need to see a significant increase in vaccines.

"We don't have an efficiency or throughput problem," Dr. Robbins said. "The bottleneck is a supply problem. It means that we need to get vaccines."

Dr. Robbins also said that they think they can effectively and safely deliver 50,000 to 75,000 doses a week to Southern Arizona.

Dr. Richard Carmona, Reentry Task Force Director said the university is also working on developing plans to vaccinate those in rural communities. One of the ways includes mobile units, but the limiting factor right now is vaccine supply.

You can watch today's full press conference, here.