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Older Adults Call In To Hear Ducey As He Hosts Tele-Town Hall About COVID-19 Shot

A year after Gov. Ducey issued a state of emergency, he hosted a tele-town hall with more than 25,000 members of the public on the line. Many of the callers were older and had questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Callers really wanted to know about the potential side effects, long term effects, efficacy, masking after vaccination and one caller was very worried about access. She said she and her 87 year old husband couldn’t drive to Tucson and wanted to know about mobile options. Dr. Cara Christ, the head of the state department of health, answered many of the questions.

"And we do know that there are people that cannot travel and need to stay close to home. Pima County has been doing a great job of getting mobile vaccination out to areas and I know that Green Valley is one of the areas of concern."

Ducey said there would be more information coming regarding the vaccine and homebound seniors. He also encouraged everyone to get the vaccine, saying that both President Biden and former President Trump have been vaccinated. 

While some callers thanked Ducey for his efforts, others seemed frustrated like 84-year-old who called in and said neither she nor her 57-year-old daughter could book an appointment at a pharmacy. 

"One of the problems that we have, but it's a good problem to have, is we have a tremendous amount of demand for this vaccine," explained Ducey. "We've got so many winter visitors here from other states. They want to get vaccinated as well."

Christ said pharmacies are only getting a limited supply of doses. She anticipates doses to increase throughout March and April.

KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.