As vaccine providers in Pima County await vaccine deliveries, more appointments are set to be postponed at County supported sites. Delays and a reduction in vaccine doses provided to the County are also forcing Health Department officials to refocus these limited supplies on administering second doses on time.
The appointments currently affected remain those scheduled at:
- Tucson Medical Center, beginning Feb. 18, for some second dose appointments;
- Tucson Convention Center, beginning Feb. 19;
- Banner South, beginning Feb. 19
Two mobile vaccine projects planned for Saturday, Feb. 20 have also been postponed. These events, targeted at providing vaccination opportunities in high-risk communities will now be slated to occur sometime in March.
While doses for this week’s operations dwindle, the Arizona Department of Health Services notified Pima County today that they would receive 12,500 doses for use at Pima County supported sites next week. This is the lowest total of weekly doses allotted to the County in 10 weeks.
All other vaccine that will be given in Pima County is being assigned directly by the State. Last week, the County received 16,300 doses, 1,000 of which were sent by the State to the University of Arizona vaccine site.
“As we deal with the challenge of this delayed shipment, we are also thinking about how to best use the limited supply we will get next week as well,” said Dr. Theresa Cullen, Director of the Health Department. “We are starting to receive fewer doses than we received a month ago, meaning that nearly all of our upcoming doses will need to be focused on getting people their second dose.”
Depending on whether patients received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, those who were vaccinated by the County 21 to 28 days ago now need their second dose to be considered fully vaccinated. In late January 2021, the Centers for Disease Control announced that second doses of Covid-19 vaccine can be given up to six weeks after their first doses if they are otherwise unable to be completed at the recommended time frame.
“We are still in a good place with getting these second doses completed within the appropriate time frame,” said Cullen. “With the State’s site still giving first doses, we want to make sure we complete these second appointments.”