Doctors urge vaccines for kids as Arizona's COVID-19 vaccination rate lags

Published: Wednesday, November 24, 2021 - 1:09pm
Updated: Wednesday, November 24, 2021 - 1:10pm
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More Arizona doctors are appealing to the public to get vaccinated and take other precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

“Only one sick person at a holiday gathering can make many others sick," said Dr. Kara Geren, an emergency room doctor from Scottsdale. "I have seen COVID-19 ravage families, leaving children without parents and grandparents, or putting children in the hospital for months. Getting adults and children vaccinated for COVID-19 is our best path out of this pandemic.”

Geren, and other doctors with the group Committee to Protect Health Care, held a call with reporters Tuesday to urge more Arizonans to get vaccinated. Unvaccinated people are far more likely to need hospitalization and Arizona’s vaccination rate remains below the national average. 

Arizona has recently been averaging nearly 4,000 COVID-19 infections per day at a time when the state's hospital ICU beds are already 94% full. Geren said, recently, she's seen patients waiting hours for emergency care as hospitals become increasingly crowded.

“Just yesterday during my shift in the emergency department, I cared for so many patients with COVID-19 that I lost count. Arizona hospitals are rapidly running out of capacity in this new COVID-19 surge," Geren said.

Geren said one of the best ways to improve the state's vaccination rate will be to get more children immunized, now that vaccines are available to children ages 5-to-11. Geren said the vaccines are safe for kids. She said she got her own 6-year-old daughter vaccinated as soon as the shots were available.

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