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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


The UA to become point of distribution for COVID-19 vaccine

Jacqueline Canett

Banner University Medical Center — Tucson entrance. Banner hospital is in the background. 

The Pima County Health Department has designated the University of Arizona to be one of the points of distribution for vaccination as a part of Phase 1B in the vaccine rollout plan. The UA will administer the Pfizer vaccine at no out-of-pocket expense. They will primarily be serving teachers, educators and childcare workers. This includes teachers, faculty and staff at the K-12 schools in Pima County, Pima Community College and over 15,000 faculty and staff at the UA.

The vaccine will be administered either at a drive-through clinic at the UA Mall or a vaccination area in the Ina E. Gittings building for those who choose the walk-in clinic.

The process will be similar for both clinics. If a person falls under the 1B category and is an educator/childcare worker, they first must set up their appointment online at the Pima County Health Department website or call (520) 222-0119 to schedule their appointment. Appointments cannot be scheduled for family members unless they fall in the 1B category.

On the day of the appointment, people are asked to bring their health insurance card and proof of employment. During the whole process, people should be wearing their own masks. A health care professional will administer the vaccine and monitor for 15 minutes afterward to watch for potential adverse reactions. Following this, people will be sent home with information about the second vaccine dose appointment, which is critical to achieving full and longer-lasting immunity.

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“I’m very enthusiastic and hopeful about getting as many people vaccinated as fast as we possibly can,” said UA President Dr. Robert C. Robbins in the weekly press briefing. “However, that is going to take us several weeks to months to do that. And I believe we’re going to be in this test race and treat modality for the entire spring semester.”

The Phase 1B group of the county’s vaccine rollout plan also includes members of the community who are over the age of 75 and prioritized essential workers like law enforcement, firefighters, corrections and 911 call center staff. Members of the Phase 1A group, which comprises healthcare workers and residents and staff of long term care facilities, continue to be vaccinated.

Other sites of distribution include two large sites at Banner University Medical Center — North and Tucson Medical Center, which have already been serving the 1A category, as well as Banner University Medical Center — South and the Tucson Convention Center. The county is also working to turn Rillito Race Track into a distribution center in February.

Follow Udbhav Venkataraman on Twitter

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