The COVID-19vaccine point of distribution at the University of Arizona, which launched in mid-January, transitioned to be a state-run site Thursday that may be able to serve 6,000 people per day, according to the university.
As Arizona’s third high-capacity state vaccination site and the first such site in southern Arizona, the POD is expected to distribute up to 6,000 to 8,000 doses per day and may eventually be able to run 24/7 with additional shifts added, University of Arizona President Robert Robbins said in a news conference Thursday.
“The doses we administer here at the university spot will now be in addition to, incrementally, to the already allocated vaccines that are given to Pima County, enabling the residents of southern Arizona to be vaccinated more quickly,” Robbins said. “That’s what we’re after.”
“Being able to ramp up operations at this site as more vaccine becomes available will provide another weapon against COVID-19, and it complements Pima County’s strong vaccination efforts to date,” Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ said in the conference.
The university POD includes a sit-down clinic for those who don’t have access to a vehicle.
Allowing people who may not be in a car to get vaccines “is something that we haven’t been able to do in our other sites up in Maricopa County,” Director of the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire said in the conference.
The state doesn’t have an exact date of when a state-run site will be launched in Yuma or other rural counties, Christ said.
“We are working with our partners to establish those spots in the next couple of weeks,” she said.
The Arizona Department of Health Services is continuing to work with community partners to identify hard-to-reach communities and those who have high-risk comorbidities to make sure they get vaccinated, Christ said.
The department will be looking at moving to community-based spots as more vaccine is obtained, Chris said.
Appointments are required for both the drive-through clinic and the sit-down site at the POD, according to the university.
The site is currently open for people in priority phase 1B, which includes K-12 school staff and child care workers; law enforcement officers, corrections officers and other protective service employees; and adults 65 and older.
Registration for state-run and other sites, as appointments become available, is at podvaccine.azdhs.gov. People can also call 844-542-8201 for help registering for an appointment.