The Pinal County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 Nov. 3 to accept $3.4 million in federal grant funds for vaccination services, following a vote to turn the money down in September.
Voting in favor of the grant award were Chairman Steve Miller, District 2 Supervisor Mike Goodman and District 4 Supervisor Jeffrey McClure, with District 1’s Kevin Cavanaugh and District 5’s Jeff Serdy voting no. In October McClure asked that the board revisit the grant, after he voted against it with Cavanaugh and Serdy the first time.
The money, which originated with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is being passed through the state of Arizona to the county, will fund salaries, supplies and other expenses for vaccination services through the county’s public health department through June 2024. This has been a longstanding grant award from the federal government to the county.
This year a controversial requirement was added to the grant for the county to hire a full-time vaccine equity coordinator to coordinate efforts to provide education and COVID-19 vaccines to ethnic groups at higher risk of infection by the virus.
The board’s motion to approve the grant included an amendment, proposed by Cavanaugh, to require the board to vote on whether to continue accepting the grant if the agreement is ever revised to include an obligation to enforce federal orders related to quarantine or isolation.