/ Modified dec 18, 2020 1:06 p.m.

COVID-19 vaccine distribution underway in Arizona

Understanding how it will be administered and hearing from those in line to receive the first doses.

The first Arizonans began receiving the COVID-19 vaccine signaling a major step forward in the ongoing effort to contain the disease. The state’s initial shipment of the Pfizer vaccine went to Maricopa and Pima counties, with Tucson Medical Center and Banner – University Medicine serving as the first distribution sites in Southern Arizona. TMC CEO Judy Rich explained how the hospital would go about distributing the 6,000 doses it received from the county. Dr. Francisco Garcia, Pima County’s chief medical officer and deputy county administrator, also discussed the vaccine’s rollout into the community.

The arrival of the first COVID-19 vaccine came in record time and has been heralded as a symbol of hope by the health community, but it still faces skepticism from some. We got insight into some common questions about its approval and distribution from former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona, who currently leads the University of Arizona’s COVID-19 response, as well as Professor Tara Sklar, director of the UA College of Law’s Health Law and Policy Program.

Days after Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine gained approval for distribution, Moderna’s vaccine entered the same process with the federal government. Tony Paniagua introduces us to a graduate student at the University of Arizona who volunteered to participate in Moderna’s trial study.

Arizona’s phase one of its COVID-19 vaccine rollout prioritizes workers tasked with caring for those who have the disease. This week, Dr. Frank LoVecchio was among the first health care workers to receive a dose of the vaccine. LoVecchio works in emergency medicine at Valleywise Health Medical Center in Phoenix and shared more about the challenges he and his colleagues face on the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis.

Arizona 360
Arizona 360 airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on PBS 6 and Saturdays at 8 p.m. on PBS 6 PLUS. See more from Arizona 360.
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