UArizona mall to become 24/7 state-run vaccination site

Site will soon accept 65-year-olds for appointments
Posted at 1:41 PM, Feb 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-10 15:47:50-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — University of Arizona is opening a state run facility that will allow residents, aged 65 and older, to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

Until now, the UArizona site has mostly served education workers. Other Pima County vaccination sites have limited vaccinations to medical workers, first responders, and people older than 75. The county is lowering the age threshold to 70 soon.

But in a briefing Wednesday morning, State Health Director Doctor Cara Christ said the UArizona site will abide by the state threshold which has allowed people aged 65 and older to get COVID-19 shots at state run sites in Maricopa County. In some cases Pima County residents in the 65 plus group have traveled to Maricopa County for vaccinations.

Gov. Doug Ducey and the Arizona Department of Health Services announced the plan Wednesday,

“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 in a statment. “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 mall currently serves as a site to vaccinate students, faculty and staff. It will transition to a state site and take on more appointments Feb. 18, eventually operating 24/7.

Registration for the appointments will start at 9 a.m. Feb. 16 at this site or you can call 1-844-542-8201 for assistance.

The site will be able to vaccinate 6,000 people per day.

“Serving as a COVID-19 vaccine point of distribution (POD) and delivering more than 12,000 shots to local county members from first responders, K-12 and post K-12 educators and staff 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 Dr. Bobby Robbins, in a statement. “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.”

Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ said the UArizona site will be an important tool to contend with the pandemic.

“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 state also operates vaccination sites at State Farm Stadium and Phoenix Municipal Stadium.