GCU, UA To Serve As Vaccine Distribution Sites For Pima And Maricopa Counties
Grand Canyon University and the University of Arizona are gearing up to open as COVID-19 vaccination sites for Maricopa and Pima counties, they announced Monday.
The GCU announcement comes as Maricopa County entered Phase 1B of the vaccination process. This means that educators, law enforcement and those 75 and older are now eligible to sign up for the vaccine. The new GCU site, which will open next week, will include walk-through service by appointment for individuals who lack a vehicle and need public transportation or a shuttle in order to get vaccinated, the university said in a Monday press release.
“We are excited to have GCU join the list of sites we have available,” said Marcy Flanagan, executive director for Maricopa County Department of Public Health. “The location and approach they can put into place make it more accessible to people who are eligible in Phase 1B and might also be in groups that are more at-risk during this pandemic.”
Hours of operation for the GCU are still being determined, the university said.
The UA vaccination site will open on Jan. 22, University President Robbins said in a Monday press conference. UA will immunize residents who qualify under the Phase 1B category, including university faculty and staff.
Robbins thinks it may take weeks to months to get everyone who is interested vaccinated. That means the university likely will need to continue efforts to test, trace and treat COVID-19 throughout the entire spring semester and possibly into next fall, he said.
“But I am more enthusiastic that by the end of the summer, we’ll have a sufficient number of individuals vaccinated that we can potentially move into quote more normal fall semester later this year," Robbins said.
In addition, Robbins said many members of the university, such nursing and medical students, have already received the vaccine as part of Phase 1A.
UA is currently not mandating the vaccine for employees, but Robbins has expressed an interest in requiring it in the future for access to in-person classes and events on campus such as sports.