Pima County and state differ on vaccine allocation

Pima says it should be more fair

New vaccination sites

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Two weeks ago, the state of Arizona proudly opened up a mass coronavirus vaccine site at the State Farm Arena in Glendale.

In the two weeks, the state has vaccinated 79,112 people. Pima County started its vaccinations Dec. 17, 2020 and has vaccinated 79,564.

The state has allocated 140,400 vaccines to the arena site in two weeks. The county has been allocated 140,425 doses in six weeks.

Pima County health officials believe something is amiss.

“To me that is a really, really important statistic,” said Dr. Francisco Garcia, the Chief Medical Officer for the Pima County Health Department. “Because it speaks to the fact that we need to have more vaccines on the ground if we are going to make good progress.”

Dr. Garcia, who believes Pima County has done a great job with the vaccines it has been given, also believes those vaccines should be more evenly distributed throughout the state.

The county is also wary because the state has begun to open walk in sites throughout Pima County which are run by the Arizona Department of Health.

Six of them have been opened so far with more on the way.

The county is concerned because the rules between the state and county differ.

The state allows 65 to 74 year old’s to sign up and make appointments for a vaccine while Pima County does not.

“We have had conversations with the pharmacies and we have encouraged them to limit their vaccinations to 75 plus,” Dr. Garcia said. “So this is really complicating our messaging.”

The county says it needs to be consistent with its message that 75+, educators and law enforcement are the priorities right now. Everything else just muddies the water.

Messages left to the state today were not returned.

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