Messages from someone who already took the vaccine are “also one of the best confidence boosters,” she said. “So encouraging those who have been vaccinated to discuss the vaccination with their colleagues may help improve vaccination coverage.”
But the health chief said she is realistic in her expectations of how many Arizonans will go along.
Her best indication is the annual flu vaccine.
“Sometimes we’ll fall anywhere between 37% and 50% of the population getting vaccinated,” she said. “It may fall somewhere in there.”
There are other issues to consider even in encouraging medical professionals to get vaccinated.
One is that the vaccine itself has side effects, including causing a possible fever.
“That’s your body’s normal response to an infection,” Christ said. “And it does that when you get a vaccine.”
That could result in doctors and nurses, already in short supply, staying home after getting inoculated.
“That is a concern,” Christ said. “We’ve been working with our health-care partners discussing the need to stagger their health-care workers’ (vaccinations). You probably don’t want all of the emergency room physicians going in at the same time.”
Anyway, Christ said, no one wants a health-care worker with a fever showing up on the job, even if the suspected cause is the vaccine.
Separately, Christ expressed disappointment with some elected officials who not only do not wear masks but also have told people to ignore the advice of health-care professionals about covering up. Those specifically include Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., who has posted a series of anti-mask messages on the internet.