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Health experts, lawmakers encourage residents to get vaccine in meeting at TMC

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TUCSON (KVOA) - Arizona health experts and lawmakers met at Tucson Medical Center Tuesday to rally Arizonans to get vaccinated.

During that meeting, they praised the American Rescue Plan that is sending big bucks to our state to help win the fight against this pandemic.

State health officials are encouraged by the number of people getting vaccinated here in Arizona. But Pima County Health Director Dr. Theresa Cullen knows there's a long way to go and she's pleading with everyone in Arizona to get vaccinated.

"Please, please, seek out your vaccine," Cullen said. "That is the way we're going to end this pandemic."

U.S. Senators Mark Kelly and Kirsten Synema led a coalition of Arizona Democrats to help pass the American Rescue Plan which will help distribute more vaccines and provide a boost to Arizona's workers and small businesses.

According to the Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee, the rescue plan gives $150 million in grants from the CDC to distribute vaccines to Arizonans.

In addition, $960 million to ADHS for COVID-19 testing, tracing and mitigation.

Lawmakers say since the rescue plan was enacted last month Pima County has increased its daily vaccination rate by over 50 percent.

Congressman Tom O'Halleran says the vaccines are readily available to anyone 16 and older and he says they are safe.

"The people of America are taking them every day at high numbers. But we will get over this more quickly if we recognize that we're all in this together," O'Halleran said. "We have to create a united front against an enemy that has devastated America."

Dr. Cullen agrees and she has high hopes for tomorrow.

"As we look forward to the future, we do look forward to a time that is post covid and we are all optimistic and hopeful that we can accelerate the that it will take to get there by your cooperation with us," she said.

To register to receive a COVID-19 vaccine with the county, visit pima.gov/covid19vaccine.

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