Green Valley and Sahuarita will see 3,000 doses of vaccine next week, the highest single delivery since the rollout began.

The vaccine will be administered at two sites Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and will focus on those age 75 and older.

The first site is at Santa Cruz Valley Regional Hospital, the second is at the Community Performance and Art Center (CPAC), 1250 W. Continental Road. They will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

You must be registered to receive a vaccine; do not show up without an appointment. To register, go to: podvaccine.azdhs.gov and set up a new account.

To get an appointment in Green Valley, you must register at that site regardless of whether you’ve already registered with the state or county. Create a new account and schedule an appointment. For registration assistance, contact the Arizona Department of Health Services COVID-19 Help Line at 844-542-8201.

Future local POD (Point of Dispensing) dates will be announced based on the availability of vaccine.

Those who get appointments locally will be given information at the vaccination site about receiving the second shot, which also will be in Green Valley.

The POD came about as a collaborative effort among the Green Valley Council, Pima County, Green Valley Fire District, Premier Medical Group, Santa Cruz Valley Regional Hospital, Green Valley Sheriff’s Auxiliary and the Community Performance and Art Center.

“We hit it out of the ballpark,” GVC President Debbie Kenyon said Saturday, shortly after the announcement. “It’s something to be very proud of.”

“We are hopeful that we can continue to supply these vaccination sites as the county works to increase its vaccine allocations from the state,” she said.

Pima County Supervisor Steve Christy said he was grateful for the planning and collaboration that quickly put the bulk of infrastructure in place.

"It was a remarkable effort," he said Saturday, adding that getting vaccine is the biggest challenge. 

UCHC doses

UCHC received 800 doses — not part of the 3,000 — on Tuesday that it will also distribute this week. Appointments in Sahuarita and Amado are filled; UCHC has openings in Vail and Three Points and anticipates all doses will be administered by Friday.

“We will be planning future vaccine dates as soon as we have stock in hand after these dates,” Chief Operating Officer Wendy Kibby said.

To sign up, go to UCHC’s website at: uchcaz.org. For questions with registration, call 520-750-7338.

Nurses get green light

A Green Valley nurse was instrumental in paving the way for hundreds of nurses across the state to join in the vaccination effort.

The Arizona Department of Health Services has cleared the way for retired nurses to obtain temporary licenses to give COVID-19 shots.

Friday's decision came a day after a request from the Arizona State Board of Nursing on behalf of nurses who are retired or have inactive or expired licenses.

The waiver allows a limited, temporary license solely to administer vaccines. 

The Board of Nursing made the request after receiving “numerous stakeholder inquiries… with many retired nurses seeking to assist in administering COVID-19 vaccines,” according to a Thursday memo from Joey Ridenour, executive director of the AZBN.

To qualify, nurses must have previously held a nursing license in any state or hold a current license in good standing; no prior discipline on the license; no pending investigation by a licensing authority; and agree to release the board and State of Arizona from liability.

Emma Lehner Mamaluy, chief counsel for the ASBN, said the licenses are good for 180 days contingent on Gov. Doug Ducey's State of Emergency declaration remaining in place. They can be renewed.

Lehner Mamaluy said the ASBN was contacted  Jan. 11 by retired nursing groups around the state who wanted to help with vaccination efforts. 

"They, figuratively, were pounding down the door because they want to help," she said. "It's who they are, it's in their DNA to want to help. It's inspiring."

Lynne Severe, a Green Valley nurse, has been contacting the Board of Nursing and ADHS for several weeks, advocating for the waiver.

Severe, a member of the RN Group of Green Valley, said there are about 150 members, many willing to help with the vaccine rollout.

"This is a big win for us," Severe said Friday.

La Posada

La Posada vaccinated residents and staff on Friday through the CVS federal vaccine program, according to a spokesman.

As of Friday, about 97.4 percent of La Posada’s 734 residents have received their first shot.

County milestone

The news of the vaccine shipment and extra hands to distribute came as Pima County hit 100,000 COVID-19 cases. It also has administered its 100,000th vaccination, about 40 days after its first.

In a memo Friday, County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry also reported:

•Pima County had 30,457 new virus cases in January; there were 29,663 in December.

•Through Friday, there were 672 deaths in January compared to 373 in December. Total deaths in Pima County: 1,736.

•Hospital bed availability remains critical in Pima County. ICU bed capacity was 5 percent on Friday, or 19 beds that could be staffed. Capacity has been under 10 percent for 80 days.

•There were 507 positive COVID-19 in-patients as of Friday, accounting for 45 percent of ICU beds; 116 on ventilators, accounting for 55 percent of usage.

•The county has five regional vaccination centers, all in the Tucson area. All five are increasing vaccination capacity. Pima County is seeking state assistance to set up a sixth, at Rillito Park.

•All long-term care and assisted living facilities registered with the state have received their first immunization through a federal contract with CVS and Walgreens. A “substantial” number of assisted living facilities did not enroll and the county is attempting to identify them and vaccinate the residents, Huckelberry said.

•60 pharmacies statewide, including some in Sahuarita and Green Valley, were selected by the state for vaccine allocation. The county has little information and no control over the administration but has asked them to limit allocations to those 75 and older. The pharmacies are under no obligation to do so.