Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and the Arizona Department of Health Services announced today that the University of Arizona will become a high-capacity state vaccination site serving southern Arizona.
"Our state vaccination sites at State Farm Stadium and Phoenix Municipal Stadium have been instrumental in Arizona's work to vaccinate people quickly, efficiently and safely," Ducey said. "We're thrilled to partner with the University of Arizona and the Pima County Health Department to open a site in Southern Arizona and rapidly expand vaccine distribution. The demand for vaccine doses is high, and Arizonans have made it clear they want it. We are working hard to secure more doses from the federal government and partner with private and public organizations to get the vaccine out and protect Arizonans. My thanks to President Bobby Robbins and everyone involved for their work to partner on this vaccination site."
The University of Arizona has been working with Pima County and other community partners since mid-January to administer vaccines to eligible people in prioritized Phase 1B of the county's vaccination plan. As a state site, the university will be able to administer vaccine to anyone across the state – not just Pima County – who qualifies in Phase 1B.
To date, the university site has administered more than 12,000 shots. When it transitions to a state-run site, current capacity and hours of operation will be expanded over the next few weeks, with more appointments beginning on Feb. 18. People will need to register for appointments at through the state, at podvaccine.azdhs.gov. Registration for appointments at the UArizona site will open at 9 a.m. Feb. 16. Those without computer access or needing extra help registering can call 1-844-542-8201 for assistance.
The site has both a drive-through option on the University of Arizona Mall and a walk-up site at the Ina E. Gittings Building for people using public transit. Appointments are required for both locations.
As more vaccine doses arrive in Arizona, the state partnership will eventually allow the UArizona site to operate 24/7 with the ability to serve up to 6,000 people per day – a substantial increase from the current rate of 800 people per day.
"Serving as a COVID-19 vaccine point of distribution (POD) and delivering more than 10,000 shots to local educators and first responders over the past two weeks has been a privilege for the University of Arizona, and we welcome the opportunity to provide the same service to Southern Arizona as a 24/7 vaccination site for the state," said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins, MD. "Our POD has the capacity to deliver more vaccinations, and we look forward to working together to further meet the needs of Pima County and Arizonans. I am incredibly proud of our entire team of professionals and volunteers who have partnered closely with Pima County, established the university POD and operated it so well."
Today's announcement comes as the university and the state are experiencing a drop in COVID-19 cases.
"Demand for the vaccine remains high, and the state's third vaccination site and first in Southern Arizona will help meet that demand," said Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ. "We'll have the ability to vaccinate more people each day at this site once we have more vaccine doses, and we are working with our federal partners to secure more supplies and rapidly expand vaccinations. We are looking forward to working with the University of Arizona and Pima County to get this site running and protect more Arizonans."
The vaccination site at the University of Arizona will be the third state site, and the first in Pima County. On Jan. 11, Arizona opened its first state-run site at State Farm Stadium, where 178,084 vaccine doses have been administered. On Feb. 1, the state opened its vaccination site at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, where 14,946 vaccine doses have been administered. As of Tuesday, 954,290 vaccine doses have been administered across the state.
Information about all vaccination sites across Arizona can be found at azhealth.gov/findvaccine.
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A version of this article originally appeared on the University of Arizona News website.
About the University of Arizona Health Sciences
The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. UArizona Health Sciences includes the Colleges of Medicine (Tucson and Phoenix), Nursing, Pharmacy, and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona, the greater Southwest and around the world to provide next-generation education, research and outreach. A major economic engine, Health Sciences employs nearly 5,000 people, has approximately 4,000 students and 900 faculty members, and garners $200 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: uahs.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Instagram).
About the University of Arizona
The University of Arizona, a land-grant university with two independently accredited medical schools, is one of the nation's top public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. Established in 1885, the university is widely recognized as a student-centric university and has been designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The university ranked in the top 20 in 2018 in research expenditures among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation, and is a leading Research 1 institution with $687 million in annual research expenditures. The university advances the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the 65 leading public and private research universities in the U.S. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $4.1 billion annually. For more information: arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Instagram).