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  • People older than 70 in Pima County can start getting vaccinated Feb. 8

    Feb 04, 2021 | Read More News
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    vaccine info The Pima County Health Department today announced that it will expand the 1B priority COVID-19 vaccination group to people over 70 years old. They can start today registering for appointments beginning on Feb. 8 on the Department’s vaccine registration page.

    People 70 and older, educators, and people employed in protective services will be able to register for vaccination appointments at Tucson Medical Center, 5301 E. Grant Road, Banner UA Cancer Center, 3838 N. Campbell Ave., Banner UMC-South at the Kino Sports Complex, 2500 E. Ajo Way, and the Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave. A fifth vaccination center at the University of Arizona, 1200 E. University Ave., is also under consideration. The UA POD is currently restricted to educators.

    “We have made a lot of progress over the past six weeks in the 1A and 1B priority groups, vaccinating more than 130,000 people,” said Dr. Theresa Cullen, the Health Department Director. “The pace of appointments for educators and protective services has slowed as we think we’re nearing saturation of the people in those groups who want to be vaccinated, so we’re opening appointments to 70 and older.”

    Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey in January moved up people 65 and older into the 1B priority group. Pima County, however, still restricted vaccinations to people 75 and older because they statistically have worse outcomes if they contract COVID-19, and because there are so many people in Pima County over age 65 (more than 212,000) allowing them all to register for appointments at once would have crashed the registration system. According to the 2019 Census estimate for Pima County, there are more than 54,400 people between the ages of 70 and 74 in Pima County.

    “Were only opening vaccination to 70-plus because we still have a lot of 75+ people to vaccinate and we don’t want to overwhelm our registration system or create more demand than we have vaccine supply,” Cullen said.

    Vaccinations for people who are 65 to 69 years old may be able to start getting vaccinated by the end of February, depending on vaccine availability.

    “Vaccine supply is the ultimate limiting factor in how many people we can get vaccinated and how quickly. We are wary of getting too far ahead of the available vaccine with our appointments,” said Dr. Francisco Garcia, the County’s Chief Medical Officer and a Deputy County Administrator. “It’s hard to estimate how fast we can move to vaccinating 65 to 69 folks because  the state’s system for vaccine distribution is opaque, as evidenced by today’s announcement that the state has reduced Pima County vaccine allotment by more than 12,000 doses next week, going from 29,000 this week to only 17,800 next week.”

    For more information about COVID-19 vaccinations, go to the vaccine information webpage, or call 520-222-0119. The Call Center also offers registration assistance to those who need it.