University of Arizona’s state-run vaccine site closes
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Today marks the closing of the University of Arizona’s state-run vaccine pod. Since the site opened in January, there have been nearly a quarter of a million vaccine doses administered at the university.
Pima County Health Department Director, Dr. Theresa Cullen says, “Well first of all, it think it’s a celebration. We really are thankful to the university. We estimate they’ve given one out of every four vaccinations given in the county.”
And while many are sad to see the site close, Dr. Cullen says it is a step in the right direction. Dr. Cullen says the fight is not over and more people still need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity, but the university has gotten Pima County closer to that goal.
“Our numbers are very low and a major attribution of that is vaccinations. And the University of Arizona pod saved lives,” she says.
Chris Kopach, the university’s COVID incident commander, says volunteers came together over these six months through the rain, snow, and heat to put as many shots in arms as possible - nearly 250,000.
Kopach says, ″We’re real proud of that. Bittersweet because we had a lot of friends we made. The community has totally come together, the way we do here in Tucson. It’s been a great, great atmosphere, but everything has to end.”
He says it’s truly been a team effort, ″We’ve seen the benefits of that. We’ve seen where Arizona was the worst in the world and now our numbers have totally dropped off.”
Mona Arora, a volunteer who has been at the site since the beginning says it’s been a journey she’s grateful to have been a part of.
Arora says, ″It feels nice to be able to put this past us because it does illustrate some level of success. We’ve been able to work together to get this life-saving, protective asset to the community.”
Starting July 8, University of Arizona students, staff, and faculty will be able to get their first and second dose of the vaccine at the campus COVID-19 vaccine clinic. That clinic will be open through the fall semester.
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