Our focus this week turned again to ongoing efforts to get Arizonans vaccinated against COVID-19. About a fifth of the state’s residents have received one or both doses. Demand for the vaccine is also coupled with curiosity. We posed some common questions to Dr. Joshua LaBaer who leads Arizona State University’s COVID-19 research efforts as director of its Biodesign Institute.
Operations at the state’s newest vaccination site kicked off this week at the University of Arizona. Already a hub for hundreds of vaccines daily, with the state’s backing officials hope it will eventually run as a 24/7 site that can administer up to 6,000 doses a day. The Arizona National Guard is standing by to assist if needed. Lorraine Rivera spoke to Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire about what the Guard’s role has been in the state’s pandemic response thus far.
After years of operating out of a church, organizers broke ground on a food bank in the town of Sahuarita. It fills a need that has only grown during the pandemic. Lorraine Rivera reports on how the Arizona National Guard has provided a helping hand during a critical time.
With about five percent of the state’s population living in rural areas, access to the COVID-19 vaccine can come with barriers. Tony Paniagua spoke to health care leaders in Santa Cruz and Cochise counties to discuss the challenges they have encountered.
Across Arizona, select pharmacies have begun to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. It’s part of a nationwide program with the CDC meant to increase access. In addition to that, students and staff with the University of Arizona are also working to get the vaccine to underserved communities through mobile options. We learned more from Dr. Nicole Henry, an assistant professor at the UA College of Pharmacy.