Gallery: Gov. Ducey Visits UArizona Vaccination Site as Vaccine Eligibility Expands
Gov. Doug Ducey visited the state's COVID-19 vaccination site at the University of Arizona Wednesday and praised the university for its progress on administering vaccines.
Ducey's visit to Tucson came the same day that state vaccination sites, including the one at UArizona, opened vaccination appointments to anyone age 16 or older. The governor also met with local business leaders and toured UArizona research facilities where scientists are searching for more answers about the novel coronavirus.
"I've been blown away by everything that's been happening here in this part of the state," Ducey said during a news conference at Stevie Eller Dance Theatre. "The volunteers, the health care professionals, the University of Arizona staff – they're all working tirelessly to help distribute this vaccine to thousands of Arizonans."
More than 85,000 doses have been administered at the campus POD, or point of distribution, and volunteers at the site are administering doses at a rate of about 3,000 per day.
Ducey received his second dose of the vaccine, administered by Arizona Department of Health Services Director Cara Christ, while at the UArizona site.
Those eligible for vaccination can register and schedule an appointment through the Arizona Department of Health Services website. Those who need assistance can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 602-542-1000 or 844-542-8201 for help in both Spanish and English.
University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins said the university vaccination site is capable of scaling up its operations as vaccine eligibility expands, as long as the supply is available.
"We will continue serving the entire community with equity and access as priorities," Robbins said, adding that 21% of the university POD's vaccine recipients have self-identified as Hispanic or Latinx, compared to 15.3% in Pima County and 9.3% statewide.
"As a Hispanic-Serving Institution, it's important to us that we meet the need of this part of our community," Robbins said.
Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services and an alumna of the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson, said the state is eager to get more vaccine doses to meet the demand.
"The University of Arizona site demonstrates Arizona's readiness to administer more vaccines when it is available from the federal government," she said. "The 3,000 doses administered here on average each day can be doubled with more vaccine, like many of our other vaccination sites statewide. We are ready to put this significant untapped capacity to use for the people of Southern Arizona."
Ducey said the university vaccination site illustrates that the state is "headed in the right direction" in combating COVID-19.
"I again want to thank Dr. Robbins for his leadership, the quality of his team and the commitment of everyone on the University of Arizona's campus for what they've done to help Tucson, to help Pima County, all of Southern Arizona and our entire state to weather this storm," he said.