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Vaccine sites announced: What about rural Pima County?

Vaccine
Posted at 3:55 PM, Jan 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-11 08:54:26-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — Pima County is preparing to vaccinate those 75 and older, teachers and essential workers are set to be vaccinated in the next five days.

The county has set up five sites to start vaccinating more than 275,000 people.

  • Tucson Medical Center
  • Banner North Cancer Center
  • Rillito park
  • University of Arizona (employees, students, surrounding communities)
  • Kino Banner South/Kino Stadium District
  • Tucson Convention Center

However, the locations are a concern for one registered nurse who cares for the Green Valley area.

“We have a retirement community that we have 22,000 residents," explained Lynne Savage. "The median age is 72.”

To date, there have been 1456 COVID-19 cases in the Green Valley area, according to data from AZDHS.

Lynne Severe's concern is the drive-time and accessibility to get to Tucson.

She claimed she has offered to volunteer her time to the county to run a vaccine clinic along with her group of over 160—Registered Nurses of Green Valley.

“We're not just people living out in rural areas where people who really need for the surface has to come down here to them per se. They will not be cared for otherwise," she said.

The county is taking volunteers. In fact, Cecilia Nguyen, the county's volunteer coordinator, said 596 people are registered to volunteer now and that number continues to grow. However, she confirmed to KGUN 9 that volunteer opportunities are only available at the vaccine centers at TMC and Banner at this time.

That's a stinger for Severe who wants to help in her small community.

Although there aren’t any plans for Green Valley now, Pima County Health Director Dr. Theresa Cullen said plans are being made to vaccinate the rural areas of the county.

“We are committed to ensuring adequate access to vaccines throughout the county. We are developing a plan to vaccinate throughout the county in the peri-urban areas as well as the rural areas. Execution of this plan is dependent upon vaccine availability. In the interim, residents outside of Tucson are eligible to get vaccinated at any of the open pods in the urban area,” said Dr. Cullen.

If you'd like to volunteer at one of the vaccine locations in Pima County you can sign up here.