August 27, 2021 / Modified aug 27, 2021 8:05 p.m.

Vaccine approval, redistricting and back to class at Arizona colleges

Plus, how migrant and refugee groups in Arizona are preparing to help Afghans.

This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration fully approved a COVID-19 vaccine -- the two-dose shot provided by Pfizer.

The state Health Services Department says 3.4 million people are fully vaccinated and they hope that number will grow with this week's announcement.

Arizona 360 spoke with Jessica Rigler, the department's assistant director of preparedness about the state's vaccination efforts.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of students are back in college classrooms this week as Arizona's three universities and community colleges begin the fall semester.

But the new semester is starting with a surge in COVID-19 cases.

For students and instructors throughout the region, the new normal will take some adjusting.

Arizona 360 spoke to students and faculty as well as an administrator at Pima Community College, which has taken the step of forgiving $2.7 million in students loan debt for some 4,500 students.

All eyes were on Afghanistan this week after 13 U.S. service members were killed during the ongoing evacuation of Americans and some Afghans from the country under a fast-approaching deadline.

In Arizona, migrant and refugee groups are preparing to help.

Arizona 360 spoke with Jennifer Tompkins, executive director of Tucson Refugee Ministry.

Arizona's Independent Redistricting Commission recently wrapped up a series of listening sessions around the state.

Now, the five-member panel will begin reviewing how best to draw congressional and legislative maps in time for the 2022 elections.

Arizona 360 spoke with AZPM's Christopher Conover about the process that will reshape the state's political landscape.

The Arizona Senate expected to receive a report this week on its controversial review of ballots cast in Maricopa County during the 2020 election.

Lawmakers are still waiting.

But election officials -- Democrats and Republicans -- raised a series of concerns about the process behind the anticipated report.

Arizona 360 spoke with AZPM's Andrew Oxford on Wednesday.

Arizona 360
Arizona 360 airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on PBS 6 and Saturdays at 8 p.m. on PBS 6 PLUS. See more from Arizona 360.
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