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Vaccine delays for educators in Pima County

Superintendents told PCHD computer issues are causing the delay
Vaccine Delays for Educators in Pima County
Posted at 7:18 PM, Jan 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-22 01:27:26-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN)  — As many school districts feel the pressure to reopen campuses, it's taking longer to get staff vaccinated.

Four superintendents told KGUN9 that they were informed system issues are causing a delay.

Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo had announced to the public that the vaccinations would take place this week.

But then later, the PCHD informed the district that it's scaling back on the number of vaccinations per week.

Vail and Sunnyside Superintendents received a call regarding the same issue.

Sunnyside Superintendent Steve Holmes says his district has been allotted 140 vaccinations, but only 90 will be given this week.

Vail Superintendent John Carruth says 210 employees could receive the vaccine this week, but was then told to scale that back to 60.

Pima County Superintendent Dustin Williams explained why some districts are frustrated.

"We can't have teachers just get up and leave for an hour at a moment's notice. You have to set that all up. So when you tell the district a certain number and a certain date, you have to be really careful about making sure that is spot on," said Williams, "Because if that gets delayed or gets postponed, it really puts a challenge in the whole schedule for the districts and that's why you've seen the frustration and the buildup."

TUSD said that PCHD hasn't given the district an exact number of vaccinations for this week.

Trujillo has been informed that the vaccinations will roll into next week or longer depending on how quickly PCHD resolves their process challenges.

The district says staff is receiving vaccines by appointment if there's availability through PCHD.

Williams tells us some district leadership are frustrated over PCHD's lack of communication.

We reached out to the PCHD director Theresa Cullen for response.

She answered, "The first days of any large PODs are considered to be pilot tests; they are designed to ensure that the infrastructure as well as the traffic /pedestrian flow is intact and can support the projected vaccination numbers. Pilot testing is normally a 2 to 3 day process. We expect the University of Arizona POD to have 500 plus appointments starting January 22, 2021."