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University Of Arizona President Eager To Expand Vaccination Rollout On Tucson Campus

Published: Thursday, February 11, 2021 - 1:06pm
Updated: Thursday, February 11, 2021 - 4:51pm
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There was a slight decrease in new COVID-19 infections Feb. 11. The state health department reported a little more than 1,800 new cases. But the number of deaths was up to 200. Hospitalizations remain on a downward path.

Arizona has also surpassed a million doses of the coronavirus vaccine that have been administered.

And the state says it’ll be setting up a mass vaccination center in Tucson.

University of Arizona President Robert Robbins delivered a virtual address Feb. 10 discussing the university’s partnership with the state and Pima County in distributing COVID-19 vaccinations. Drive-up vaccinations will be made available on the Tucson campus; Robbins hopes to push drive-up distribution capacity to 15 lanes. Robbins spoke about how many shots he hopes the program will administer:

“The plans are to do 15 to 16 hundred in a six-hour period. We’ll move that to two shifts of eight hours and increase the capability by having more hours to deliver vaccine," Robbins said.

Robbins explained the supply chain of vaccinations — from the federal government, to the states down to counties — and that despite a week-over-week reduction in vaccine supply in Pima County, there is very little control of inventory at the ground level.

“This week we have about 17 to 18,000 doses coming to all the PODS in Pima County. Last week it was about 30,000 and they distribute what they get from the federal government," Robbins said.

This has Robbins concerned. He says the people, the place and the patients are in place to vaccinate Pima County residents.

“We don’t have a demand or a throughput problem, we’ve got a supply problem," Robbins said.

The University of Arizona's distribution pod is scheduled for a “soft launch” Feb. 18 and is expected to run at full capacity by Feb. 22.

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