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Snowbirds creating a larger need for vaccinations in Arizona

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TUCSON (KVOA) - As Arizona runs low on vaccination doses, Gov. Doug Ducey says snowbirds are part of the reason the state needs more supply.

Because of this need, the governor recently said the state has requested another 300,000 vaccinations from the Biden administration to fill the need in Arizona.

"We've got a lot of people that come to Arizona, people migrate here from other cold weather states," Ducey said. "They need vaccinations as well."

One part-time resident lives in Tucson five months out of the year. Because they move here with other at-risk family members, being able to get a vaccine in Pima County is a huge relief to their family.

"My wife and I have already both had COVID as recently as early December and didn't want to spread it, obviously," said part-time Tucson resident, Alan Resnicke.

Resnicke's mother in-law lives in their community and is a high-risk individual over 80 years old.

The Pima County Health Department says that full-time resident or not, the goal is to protect the entire community when people are in the state.

"It keeps the amount of infection in our community lower if we are able to achieve a degree of vaccine coverage that really sort of impacts the entire community," said PCHD Chief Medical Officer Dr. Francisco Garcia.

Resnicke says they are not trying to cut the line for a vaccine and that they are just trying to get a shot for the same reason as anyone else - to protect themselves and their family.

"We're here contributing to the economy, participating, facing the same issues and the same risks as all the quote residents," said Resnicke.

He added that this is not a Pima County, Arizona or New Mexico issue. This is a worldwide pandemic and everyone has to do their part.

Currently, Pima County is still in Phase 1B of the vaccine roll-out.

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Mark Mingura

Mark Mingura joined KVOA as a Multi Media Journalist in October 2019. Originally from the valley and with ties to Tucson, Mark is excited to get back to his home state and tell the stories of the Old Pueblo.

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