COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)

COVID-19 Vaccine Updates
3/22/2021

Coronavirus vaccine for Arizonans ages 16 and older

COVID-19 vaccines will be available to Arizonans 16 and older starting Wednesday, March 24. These will be distributed for Arizona's state-operated sites in Maricopa, Pima, and Yuma counties.

Appointments can by made for yourself or family members at https://podvaccine.azdhs.gov/.

Sites operated by the Pima County may remain restricted to ages 55 and older for the time being.

 

Does Dr. Kartchner recommend the vaccine?

I do recommend the vaccine for anyone eligible who does not have a medical contraindication. I am persuaded by the available evidence that vaccination against coronavirus is safe and effective and the best way to get back to normal. I have received the vaccine and encourage my friends, family, and patients to receive it as well.

Will I be able to receive the vaccine at Dr. Kartchner's office?

The vaccine is not yet available at our clinic. I am working with the state to ensure we receive the vaccination once supplies are provided. I anticipate that in time we will be able to provide the Johnson & Johnson as well at the Astrazeneca vaccines which can be stored at traditional storage temperatures. I will provide an update once this is an option. In the meantime, I encourage obtaining the vaccine at other locations rather than wait until I have a supply.

 

How can I get more information?

This remains a fluid situation and vaccine availability/locations/distribution plans may change quickly.

I recommend the following websites as reliable sources of information regarding vaccine effectiveness, availability and distribution:

1/15/2021

My Vaccine

I received my second dose of the coronavirus vaccine last week. Although my arm was sore for a couple of days, it was similar to other vaccines I've had in the past. 

Phase IB Now Available

Good news! Vaccines are now available for individuals in Phase IB. This includes:

 

  • People aged 75 years and older

  • Protective service occupations (law enforcement, corrections, firefighters, and other emergency response staff, 911 call center staff and trainees in high-risk settings)

  • Teachers/Educators/Child Care Workers

 

Those who fall into this category can make an appointment for the vaccine here: https://webcms.pima.gov/cms/One.aspx?portalId=169&pageId=669257.

 

How can I get more information?

This remains a very fluid situation and vaccine availability/locations/distribution plans may change quickly.

I recommend the following websites as reliable sources of information regarding vaccine effectiveness, availability and distribution:

12/10/2020

Yesterday the Federal drug administration (FDA) approved an emergency authorization use for the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine for use against Covid-19. This is the first of what is expected to be several vaccines designed to protect against infection with coronavirus 19.

 

Is the vaccine safe? 

The currently available evidence is that the vaccine is safe. As with all vaccines and medications approved by the FDA, there is an ongoing review to detect problems which may not have been demonstrated during the initial clinical trials.

Does the vaccine work?

The Pfizer vaccine appears to be up to 95% effective at protecting individuals from becoming infected.

When will it be available?

The coronavirus vaccines will be available to different groups of people at different times. The first priority of recipients includes those living in nursing homes, healthcare providers, and those with health conditions which put that at increased risk, such as the elderly or those with chronic health conditions. The general public will be eligible receive the vaccine after the higher-risk individuals have received the vaccine. I anticipate this process will take several months. 

How much does it cost?

Coronavirus vaccines will be free to individuals.

Will the vaccine be available at the office?

The Pfizer vaccine will not be available at my office due to the extremely cold temperatures required. I have registered my practice with the State of Arizona so that I will be eligible to receive other coronavirus vaccines which can be stored at more typical vaccine temperatures, although these have not yet received FDA approval.

Am I required to get the vaccine?

The general public is encouraged but not required to receive the vaccine.

Will Dr. Kartchner be getting the vaccine?

I will receive the vaccine once available to me.

Does this mean life goes back to normal?

I believe this is the beginning of the return to normal, although how long this will take is not clear. Our practice will continue to observe COVID-safe measures, including mask wearing, as long as these are recommended by the various health agencies.

How can I get more information?

I recommend the following websites as reliable sources of information regarding vaccine effectiveness, availability and distribution:

Clinic Update

7/10/2020

 

I am often asked about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Here are my responses:

 

Why Does it Matter?
  • COVID-19 is a serious health concern at this time. I encourage my patients to strike a balance between taking the virus seriously while not panicking. 

  • COVID-19 needs to be contained for three reasons:

  1. We need to keep ourselves healty.

  2. We need to keep our neighbors healthy. 

  3. We need to keep our hospitals and our healthcare system healthy.

 

What Can I Do?
  • Wear a mask, practice social distancing, heed the advice of health professionals and government recommendations.

  • Our office is limiting the ability of patients to schedule appointments online so that we can ensure that interactions between patients can be minimized.

  • Everyone (patients and staff) are required to wear masks in our office. We are encouraging patients to schedule telephone visits instead of face-to-face appointments when this can be done safely.

 

Where Can I Get More Information?
  • I rely on the hard work that public health officials are doing to understand where we are in the crisis. Resources I use are the Arizona Department of Health Services (www.azdhs.gov), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov), and the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center (coronavirus.jhu.edu).