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Pima County, FEMA to begin mobile vaccine site operations next week

(Photo by Guillermo Legaria/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Pima County announced Thursday it has partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to send two mobile COVID-19 vaccination units to visit the hardest-to-reach communities in the county starting next week.

The mobile units will operate from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at two concurrent locations for three days before tearing down and moving to the next site, according to a press release.

Each unit will have the capacity to administer 250 vaccine doses per day, but more could be added depending on demand.

Locations were selected based on census tract data and the Social Vulnerability Index of the area.

Both the two-dose Moderna and one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be available for walk-up registrants 18 and older on a first-come, first-served basis, according to the release.

The first stops take place Monday through Wednesday of next week at the Pima Community College Desert Vista campus at 5901 S. Calle Santa Cruz and the Pima Community College West campus at 2202 W. Anklam Road.

The next group of sites is Casino del Sol at 5655 W. Valencia Road and Desert Diamond Casino at 7350 S. Nogales Hwy from Friday through Sunday.

Mobile vaccine units will then move to Greyhound Park at 2601 S. 3rd Ave. and the Wheeler Taft Library at 7800 N. Schisler Drive from May 11-13.

The fourth group of sites in the initial rollout is the Rillito Race Track at 4502 N. 1st Ave. and Curtis Park at 2110 W. Curtis Road from May 15-17.

Additional sites in the county are being finalized for the effort that will run through June 26.

The mobile sites will return to each community 28 days after its first visit to provide the second dose, according to the release.

More than 70 personnel from FEMA, Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Labor are participating in the operation of the mobile vaccine sites.

“We’re extremely grateful to FEMA for partnering with us on this effort to reach pockets of the community who may not have easy access to this life-saving vaccine,” County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said in the release.

“The ability to offer vaccines during evenings and weekends will enable us to reach folks whose work or school schedules prevent them from getting a vaccine now. With this effort, there’s truly no reason not to roll up your sleeve and get your shot so we can start putting this pandemic behind us.”

The mobile units will be staffed with pharmacists, pharmacy techs, vaccinators and vaccination preparers, as well as registration, screening and security personnel, according to the release.

EMS agencies will also be on-scene in case of any rare, adverse reactions to the vaccine.

More information about where to get COVID-19 vaccines in Pima County can be found on the county’s website.

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