Editor's note: This story was last updated on Tuesday, Feb. 16
Pima County residents ages 65 through 69 will be able to register for COVID-19 vaccination appointments at county-run sites starting at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18, officials announced today.
Previously registration was open to those who are 70 and older, educators, childcare workers, protective services workers and healthcare workers at the sites run by the county at Tucson Convention Center, Banner-University Medical Center, Banner-Kino and Tucson Medical Center.
The announcement was made the same day the University of Arizona vaccination site, which is transitioning from being run by the county to becoming a state-run location, started accepting registrations for appointments for the 65-69 age group. All of the 12,000 vaccination appointments available at the site filled by mid-day the same day they opened.
Dr. Francisco Garcia, the county's chief medical officer, says the county was expecting to expand vaccine registration to people ages 65-69 next week, but the health department decided to make the change earlier to align with the UA site's eligibility and to have uniform age eligibility at all vaccination sites in Pima County.
So far nearly 200,000 vaccines have been given in Pima County and the health department says vaccine supply remains the limiting factor in being able to expand access to other groups of people.
“There is still a great deal of demand for appointments among those 70 and older and along with our partners, we are working hard to continue being efficient in getting every dose we can out to our community,” Pima County Health Director, Dr. Theresa Cullen said in a news release. “Right now, the factor limiting our ability to continue expanding eligibility remains the supply of vaccine. We have enough resources to continue accelerating our delivery. We just have to have the vaccine to do it.”
Here's what to know about the vaccination process so far.
Who is currently eligible for a vaccine?
As of Tuesday, Feb. 16, Pima County residents currently eligible for a vaccine include:
- Individuals ages 70 and older
- Protective service employees: law enforcement, corrections, firefighters, other emergency response staff, 911 call center staff and trainees in high-risk settings
- K-12 and higher education teachers and staff, student teachers, childcare providers
Individuals who are 65 to 69 years old can register for a vaccine at a county-run site starting at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18.
Individuals in the 65-69 age group can register at the University of Arizona site now.
How do I register?
If you are eligible for a vaccine you can register online or get help with the processs by phone. The process for registering for a vaccine varies depending on the location.
For sites run by Pima County at Tucson Medical Center, Banner-University Medical Center, Banner-Kino and the Tucson Convention Center you can register online at www.pima.gov/covid19vaccineregistration.
Anybody who does not have the technology to register online, or needs help with the registration portal can call the county's hotline at 520-222-0119 which will provide assistance for non-Banner sites. The call center can answer general questions about the county's vaccination plan and help with any problems related to the county's registration portal and TMC's MyChart program. The hotline is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and help is available in English and Spanish.
For help registering by phone at a Banner location, call 833-509-0908. That line is staffed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. It is closed on Sunday and bilingual operators are available.
For an appointment at the University of Arizona vaccination site run by the Arizona Department of Health Services, you can register online at podvaccine.azdhs.gov. The registration information is available in English and Spanish. For help registering at this site by phone, call 1-844-542-8201. Assistance by phone is available in English and Spanish.
The Mexican Consulate in Tucson is also providing vaccine registration assistance in Spanish at 520-202-2362. The hotline is staffed Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Some Tucson-area Fry's and Safeway pharmacies are offering vaccines to those 65 and up through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination, which the county has no control over administering or its vaccine allotments. Supplies are very limited at the pharmacies offering these vaccines. Learn more about those locations and how to register for those here.
If you are willing to make the drive and have transportation, the state-operated 24/7 mass vaccination sites in Phoenix at State Farm Stadium and Phoenix Municipal Stadium are providing vaccines to those 65 and over. Check The Arizona Department of Health Service's COVID-19 website for more information and to register.
Community health centers and clinics are also providing vaccines with a focus on providing access to low-income, rural and semi-rural communities.
El Rio Health is vaccinating current El Rio patients who are 70 and above, work in education or protective services. Go here for more information.
Marana Health Clinics is vaccinating patients and non-patients who are 70 and above. Go here to find more information.
United Community Health Centers are offering vaccines for those who are 70 and above, but all appointment slots are currently filled. Go here for more information and to check when more appointments become available.
Desert-Senita in Ajo is vaccinating people 70 and up, educators and law enforcement
Veterans over age 75 can be vaccinated at the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System. Eligible veterans are being contacted by VA staff to schedule an appointment.
What should I know about registering at a county-run site?
For the vaccination sites run by Pima County at Tucson Medical Center, Banner-University Medical Center, Banner-Kino and the Tucson Convention Center here to find the links to register at those sites online.
When registering at a Banner site, you will answer the screening questions on Banner's website and then be able to make an appointment, when they become available.
When registering for a vaccine at Tucson Medical Center or the Tucson Convention Center, you will answer the screening questions on the county's website and then you will receive a follow up email from TMC MyChart to complete your registration and schedule your appointment. Because of the high volume of registrations, it could take a few days before you receive the MyChart email.
What you'll need
Everyone will need an email account, that's where a link to make an vaccination appointment will be sent after registration. For those in the 65 and older category registering by phone through Pima County's hotline, staff can help you set up an email account.
You will also need to present a photo ID at your vaccination appointment. This does not have to be an ID issued by the state of Arizona, it just has to have your name, date of birth and a photo.
Those in protective services/law enforcement, childcare, K-12 education and higher education will also need to bring a proof of employment like an employee ID, pay or pay stub to their appointment.