Health director ‘deeply disappointed’ after Pinal County rejects $3.4M federal COVID-19 vaccine grant

The decision stunned Pinal County Public Health Services District employees

By Stephanie Innes | Arizona Republic

The all-Republican Pinal County Board of Supervisors, which serves as the board of directors of the public health district, voted 3-2 Wednesday against accepting the grant money from the Arizona Department of Health Services. 

The decision stunned Pinal County Public Health Services District employees, who say the money would have lasted more than three years and been used to educate underserved populations about the COVID-19 vaccine and to help provide vaccines in disenfranchised communities. Related: Ducey releases $60M in fed funds to hospitals. . .

Related: Ducey releases $60M in fed funds to hospitals. . .

“I just simply would like to note that our public health team is deeply disappointed,” health services district director Dr. Tascha Spears said Wednesday afternoon. 

The grant money was federal COVID-19 relief funds allocated to the state health department. More than $1 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds has flowed into Arizona’s health department, including $66 million meant specifically for vaccine equity efforts.

‘Everybody knows there are free vaccines’

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