Health Department Statement about TCC vaccinations 

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Statement about TCC vaccinations 

Pima County and the city of Tucson continue to struggle through a scheduling problem at the Regional Vaccination Center at the Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave. 

For the 1B priority qualifiers, the TCC has been limited to protective services and educators. People over age 75 were only able to register for appointments at Banner’s two sites and the TMC.

Despite the ability to register for ample appointments available at TCC, educators and protective services 1B priority qualifiers have not been choosing TCC that often, only a few hundred a day when the site can handle as many as 1,500 a day.

To fill the slots, the County and the City each day have been contacting organizations that have employees within the 1B priority classification (local law enforcement agencies, courts and schools) to send to the TCC their qualifying staff who still need to be vaccinated and who have not already registered or chosen an appointment.

But we’re hitting a saturation point for teachers and law enforcement and it has become harder to round up 1B priority qualifying people to send to the TCC to fill the open appointment slots.

As a result we’re in the process of lifting the restriction on people 75+ getting appointments at the TCC. We had that restriction so that 75+ people were close to hospitals in case there are adverse reactions to the vaccines. Since reactions have been extremely rare, PCHD has re-evaluated the hospital proximity requirement and is eliminating this appointment restriction and allowing 75+ people to schedule appointments at the TCC and possibly the UA (the UA is still under consideration and is currently restricted to educators).

That will then cause the TCC appointments roster to fill up and put a halt to the need to round up 1B priority qualifiers to get vaccinated at the TCC.

Additionally, at the end of the day at the TCC POD, there are occasionally “left over” doses in vaccine vials. To prevent wasting those doses, TCC has been vaccinating people who had learned from Social Media that they could hang around the TCC late in the day and they might be able get vaccinated. That has ranged each day from a few dozen people to none.

The TCC scheduling problem, combined with the end of the day shots, has created the public impression that “anyone” can walk up at the TCC and get vaccinated.

Social media also has played a prominent role in encouraging people to go to the TCC to get vaccinated, including those over 65 the past few days.

The City, rather than turn people away, chose to vaccinate people over 65 who were in line as long as it had available vaccine. That also has been spread on social media as an official change in County vaccination policy.

This is incorrect. You currently must be an educator, in protective services, or older than 75 to get vaccinated at the TCC.

However, because the line has gotten so long today, Feb. 4, at the TCC, the County is allowing people over 70 who are already in line to get vaccinated. Anyone between the ages of 65 and 69 will instead be asked to register for a vaccine appointment that will become available when that priority group opens.

We’re sorry for the confusion about who can get vaccinated at the TCC, however the ultimate goal of the county is to get as many people vaccinated in the current priority groups as fast as possible so we can move on to the next priority group. Making sure as many people as possible in the 1B priority groups could get shots at the TCC helps achieve that goal.

We implore the public to get its information about vaccinations in Pima County from the Pima County Vaccination webpage,, and not from anecdotal information on social media. Or they can call 520-222-0119.

Finally, Pima County Health Director Dr. Theresa Cullen will make an important announcement at an online press conference tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. about a change in the County’s vaccination priority groups. The press conference will be streamed on Pima County Health Department's Facebook page for the public to watch.