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Sun, March 07

NAH plans COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Camp Verde, Sedona

Josh Tinkle, chief operations officer for Northern Arizona Healthcare, said Monday that Verde Valley has a 6.65% COVID-19 positivity rate. Courtesy photos

Josh Tinkle, chief operations officer for Northern Arizona Healthcare, said Monday that Verde Valley has a 6.65% COVID-19 positivity rate. Courtesy photos

VERDE VALLEY - In Flagstaff, Northern Arizona Healthcare has a fully operational COVID-19 vaccination clinic set up at Elks Lodge #499.

Soon, NAH hopes to have clinics set up in the Verde Valley, Chief Quality Officer John Mougin said Monday.

“Patients have been filled with happiness, hope, relief, joy,” Mougin said. “The operation (at Flagstaff Elks) is going smoothly.”

That operation involves vaccinating people who qualify for either Phase 1a or Phase 1b, Northern Arizona Healthcare’s leadership team said Monday during its monthly media briefing.

Mougin said NAH has a goal to set up vaccination clinics in the next couple of weeks in Sedona and Camp Verde.

“We’re partnering with Yavapai County to open clinics in most likely Camp Verde and Sedona,” he said. “We’re meeting with (the county) this week. They are supporting us. We think we’ll have positive information to share this time next week.”

Where exactly in Camp Verde and Sedona, Mougin said that NAH is not yet certain. However, Mougin said that with about 500 vaccines given daily at Flagstaff Elks, he’s hopeful that the Camp Verde and Sedona locations would be able to distribute as many.

“We’ll match our operations with as many vaccines as they’re willing to send our way,” Mougin said. “We strongly encourage the vaccine. The vaccine is proving to be efficacious in the early studies, antibodies are persisting.”

Anyone who would like to volunteer at Northern Arizona Healthcare’s vaccine clinics should contact Christine Currie at Cristine.currie@nahealth.com.

“We may need more volunteers in Sedona and Camp Verde,” Mougin said. “Volunteers are a great target for extra doses at the end of the day. They’re kind of working in a healthcare role, almost moves them into a 1a priority.”

Northern Arizona Healthcare leadership said Monday that the Flagstaff Elks vaccinations are available for people who live or work in Coconino County. Until the time when vaccines are available for everyone, and even once people have been vaccinated, it takes about 70% of people vaccinated to create herd community, Mougin said.

“We’re still some distance from that,” he said. “Right now, the recommendations are the same for vaccinated or non-vaccinated individuals. There’s still a chance that a vaccinated individual could get COVID. Could be low grade or asymptomatic.”

However, minimal side effects have been reported to NAH, such as soreness in the arm, headache, low-grade fever, “no different than any vaccine,” Mougin said. “Moreso with the second shot, but not everybody gets that.”

As for vaccinating people who qualify for Phase 1c, Mougin said that’s “probably a few months away.”

“We’re distributing the vaccine in Yavapai County at a fairly decent rate,” he said.

Although Northern Arizona Healthcare has not required its employees be vaccinated, about 70% have elected to take the vaccine, said President and CEO Flo Spyrow. She also said that all NAH employees, whether or not they have been vaccinated, are asked to follow the same COVID-19 safety protocols.

As of 4:30 p.m. Monday, Northern Arizona Healthcare has 50 of its 90-plus beds filled with patients, down from the 58 total patients it had as of 7:30 a.m. Monday. NAH has nine COVID-19 patients, another two patients waiting for results from their COVID-19 test.

Monday, Chief Operations Officer Josh Tinkle said that that Verde Valley has a 6.65% COVID-19 positivity rate.

Visit nahealth.com/covid-19-resources/covid-19-vaccination-info for more information on COVID-19 vaccination clinics through Northern Arizona Healthcare’s partnership.

Phase 1a, Phase 1B

Northern Arizona Healthcare provided in its Feb. 15 media briefing a breakdown of who qualifies for Phase 1a and Phase 1b of COVID-19 vaccinations.

Phase 1a includes healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents and staff. Phase 1b includes priority populations includes education and childcare workers, as well as teachers and school staff. This includes all school and higher education staff who normally interact with other staff and students, and bus drivers, cafeteria workers, facilities staff.

Phase 1b also includes law enforcement and protective services, such as corrections and other emergency response staff, as well as anyone age 65 and older.

Phase 1b also includes power and utility workers; food and agriculture related occupations, such as packaging and distribution workers, grocery and restaurant workers; transportation and material moving occupations, such as public transportation providers, airlines, gas stations, auto shop workers, and other transportation network providers; state and local government workers who provide critical services for continuity of government.

Other essential workers include business and financial services, supply chain for critical goods, funeral services, critical traders, and adults with high risk medical conditions living in shelter or other congregate living settings.

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