Thursday, February 4, 2021
While vaccinations at the Tucson Convention Center were previously targeted toward protective service workers and educators, the Pima County Health Department is expanding vaccines at TCC to the 75+ population.
The health department said many educators and protective service workers are not choosing TCC to make vaccine appointments. While the site can handle up to 1,500 shots a day, only a few hundred daily appointments are being made.
To fill the empty time slots, Pima County and City of Tucson have contacted organizations employing priority 1B vaccine qualifiers—schools, law enforcement agencies, courts—to receive vaccines during the day’s unfilled appointment times.
The health department also announced they’re in the process of expanding TCC vaccine appointments to those older than 75. This population was originally restricted to vaccines at the Banner or Tucson Medical Center sites so that a medical setting would be nearby to aid in any complications with adverse reactions to the vaccine.
Statement about TCC vaccinations Pima County and the City of Tucson, Arizona continue to struggle through a scheduling...Posted by Pima County Health Department on Thursday, February 4, 2021
“Since reactions have been extremely rare, PCHD has re-evaluated the hospital proximity requirement and is eliminating this appointment restriction and allowing 75+ people to schedule appointments at the TCC and possibly the UA,” the health department announced in a written statement, adding the University of Arizona site is still under consideration and remains reserved for educators.
The health department said there are occasionally leftover doses at the TCC POD, and some people 65 and older received the doses to prevent them from going to waste.
“To prevent wasting those doses, TCC has been vaccinating people who had learned from Social Media that they could hang around the TCC late in the day and they might be able get vaccinated,” the department said.
While speculation has circulated on social media that the 65+ population is now eligible for the vaccine, the county health department emphasizes this is false.
“We’re sorry for the confusion about who can get vaccinated at the TCC, however the ultimate goal of the county is to get as many people vaccinated in the current priority groups as fast as possible so we can move on to the next priority group,” the health department said. “Making sure as many people as possible in the 1B priority groups could get shots at the TCC helps achieve that goal.”
On Thursday, however, Pima County said TCC’s “line has gotten so long” that it will allow those over 70 to receive vaccines, while those under 70 will be turned away.
Those who currently qualify in Pima County’s 1B priority group of eligible vaccine recipients of those over 75, educators and protective service workers can register for a vaccine at pima.gov/covid19vaccineregistration or by calling 520-222-0119.