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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


How are vaccines being distributed? What you need to know.


Cars line up on the University Mall east of Cherry with passengers awaiting their COVID-19 vaccination on Friday, Feb. 12.

COVID-19 vaccines are currently being distributed and administered in Pima County. Here’s everything you need to know about who is eligible to receive a vaccine right now and where to get one.

What phase of vaccine distribution are we currently in?

Pima County is currently in Phase 1B of vaccine distribution. Registration for Phase 1A of vaccine distribution began on Dec. 31, 2020 for essential healthcare workers, including emergency medical service workers and long-term care facility staff and residents.

Who is eligible to receive a vaccine in Phase 1B?

During Phase 1B of vaccine distribution, the following individuals are eligible for vaccination:

· Adults 65 and older

· Adults with high-risk conditions in congregate settings

· Education and childcare workers

· Protective services occupations (law enforcement, firefighters, and other emergency response staff)

· Essential services and critical industry workers

Can any Phase 1B-eligible populations receive the vaccine at UA?

Although anyone eligible during Phase 1B may get vaccinated at UA, K-12, higher education and childcare workers are being prioritized at this site.

UA is one of five points of distribution for COVID-19 vaccines in Pima County. The UA POD is designated for “education and childcare workers,” which includes K-12 instructors, higher education faculty and staff and childcare workers.

According to UA’s vaccine information site, “all UA faculty, staff, campus affiliates and associates, graduate assistants and associates, and student workers” are eligible to get vaccinated at UA during Phase 1B.

Are any students eligible to receive a vaccine?

Some student workers are eligible to receive the vaccine during Phase 1B. These include, but are not limited to:

· Housing & Residential Life employees

· Campus Recreation employees

· UA Bookstore employees

· Those employed at the Student Union Memorial Center

How do I know if I am currently eligible to receive a vaccine?

All students eligible to receive the vaccine will receive an email informing them that they are eligible to receive the vaccine and asking them to register for an appointment on the Pima County website.

What is the next stage of vaccine distribution?

The next phase of vaccine distribution is Phase 1C. Individuals eligible during this phase include adults of any age with high-risk medical conditions and adults living in congregate settings.

Aaron Pacheco, leader of the Pima County Health Department Communications team, told the Daily Wildcat that the transition to Phase 1C is highly dependent on the county’s supply of vaccines.

“The biggest factor has been and will remain the supply of vaccines,” Pacheco said. “We’re hoping that we can start to see that amount increase. We’ve been working with our partners at the state to try and hopefully get more vaccines to our community, and they’ll help us get there a lot faster. At this point, we don’t really have an estimate of when that would be. But it’s something that we’re looking at and trying to increase capacity to do that.”

When will the general student population be eligible to receive the vaccine?

The university hopes to vaccinate all students by the end of the semester before they leave for summer break.

At a recent press conference regarding the UA becoming a state POD for southern Arizona, UA President Dr. Robert C. Robbins mentioned that he thinks some students may be eligible to receive the vaccine during Phase 1C. 

“Once we move into 1C, then the question is whether our students would be eligible, and the state believes that students living in conjugate housing would be available for 1C, but that’s with the proviso we’ve got enough vaccine to cover them,” Robbins said. “We’ve got probably 20,000 to 30,000 students that are in Tucson. I would love to see our students get vaccinated before they go on summer break because then it gives us a chance to get all of our faculty, staff, employees and students vaccinated.”

Which vaccines are being distributed?

Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine is being administered at UA, according to the University of Arizona’s website. Other locations in the county are also administering both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Do I get to choose which vaccine I receive?

Since resources are limited at the moment, you will not be able to choose the vaccine you receive.

Where are vaccines being distributed at UA?

There are two locations at UA where vaccines are being administered. One is a drive-through clinic located on the east end of the University Mall, and the other is a walk-up clinic located at the Ina E. Gittings Building.

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