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Everything you need to know about Pima County's Immunization Plan

Flu Vaccination
Posted at 11:42 PM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-20 17:38:44-05

COVID-19 vaccine registration and information

Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry has outlined the immunization plan for the community in a Jan. 12th Memo.

Vaccination Count
720,000 -- the number of people requiring a vaccination within the next 6 months.
That's out of about 1.1 million living in Pima County or 65 percent of the population.

What about the rest?
Those under 16 aren't eligible (200,000) and the rest are either resistant, waiting, or refusing to vaccinate.

Phase 1A

The first on the list to be vaccinated have been the more than 30,000 total health-care workers.
They are part of the Phase 1-A and nearly, if not all, have already received COVID19 shots at either Banner North or TMC.

Phase 1B
Now the county has moved into the phase 1-B, which is a large segment of the population -- up to 325,000.
This group is split into two -- priority (1B-1) and non-priority (1B-2).

The priority (1B-1) group, which have already started being vaccinated, are those who are 75 and older, teachers, childcare workers and protective service workers.
The highest mortality has been those 85 and over (20,000 are in that age group).
The 75-plus population is expected to receive the vaccine through the end of March, ideally near a hospital (Banner North, TMC and Kino Stadium/near Banner South) because they could react more to the vaccine.

The non-priorty 1B-2 group, which hasn't started being vaccinated, is made up of essential workers in fields like transportation and food.
Also, those with high-risk medical conditions living in shelters or in crowded living settings.

The county hopes to be done with Phase 1-B by March 31st.

The goal to have a minimum of 300,000 immunizations by then, but could more than double that number to 775,000 if there's no issue with vaccine supply or staffing.
The vaccine supply depends on how fast the state Health Department can get shipments to Pima County.

Vaccination Sites
5 major vaccination sites are up and running.

  • Banner North
  • TMC
  • Kino Stadium (Banner South)
  • Tucson Convention Center is focused on protective service workers.
  • University of Arizona where educators and child care workers will receive vaccinations.
  • The Rillito Racetrack will start up late Jan. or in Feb.

That site will be used for the balance of the teachers and protective service workers.

Phase 1-C
And the last Phase, 1-C, is expected to include people 65+ and anyone, no matter the age, with high-risk medical conditions.
All six major vaccination sites will remain in place for the 1-C population.

How many vaccines can be given in a day?
The Health Department reported Jan. 19th that 4,000 vaccines are being given per day.
The goal is to reach 12,200 each day and that number can possibly expand to 16,000.
But if there is an issue with the vaccine supply from the state, it could slow things down -- reducing operating hours or closing down sites.

What's the vaccination process?
It's a relatively simple process beginning with registration (mostly done online) and scheduling an appointment.
After arriving at a vaccine center, you'll be greeted and your registration verified.
Then the vaccine is given, but you must stay another 15-to-30 minutes so medical staff can make sure you don't have an adverse reaction.
If all goes well, then you're released.

So who's giving these shots?
They are medical professionals qualified to give them, like EMTs and Registered Nurses.

Phase 2 and 3
So what about the General Population -- those placed in Phase 2 and 3?
The county is still in the planning stages.
As the vaccine supply increases, distribution and access to vaccination services will expand for this group.

Vaccine completion?
Two shots are needed so the goal is to meet 1,480,000 total vaccinations.
The county predicts they'll be nearly done between June and September, depending on how fast the vaccines are distributed.