Advocacy: We support vaccines and vaccine education.

July 5, 2022

Please read the letter template below regarding the HPV vaccination series starting at age 9.


Dear Healthcare Providers, Healthcare Systems, Health Insurers, Medical Associations, Community Organizations, and other interested partners:

We are able to begin preventing HPV-related cancers earlier. HPV vaccination series can be started at age 9. Initiating the series at this age should lead to higher levels of completion, as there will then be more vaccine opportunities to complete the series. As there is no maximum interval, the 2nd dose may be administered along with other routine vaccinations at age 11-12. We encourage providers to initiate HPV vaccination at 9 years of age and ask each of you to support this effort.
In 2021, for youth aged 13-17 years, Arizona was ranked 42nd in the U.S. for HPV vaccination. Series completion rates in Arizona are only 51.4% compared to an also inadequate 58.6% nationally. We can and must do much better. This is our chance.

Our Call-to-Action:

• Health care systems and providers can:
1) Begin HPV vaccination at 9 years of age.
2) Identify patients who are due for an HPV dose and contact them to schedule appointments.
3) Have systems to prompt health care providers to ask about HPV vaccine status.
4) Use every patient visit as a vaccine opportunity.

• Parents and caregivers can:
1) Check with their health care provider to see if their child is due for HPV (or other) vaccine.
2) Talk to family members and friends about the importance of HPV vaccine.
3) Direct family members and friends to reliable sources of information about HPV vaccine.

Most HPV and other adolescent vaccines are given from July to October. As we approach the busy back-to-school season, please be prepared. Offer the first dose of HPV vaccine if the patient is 9 or older. If multiple vaccines are being offered, include HPV vaccine as a matter of course. The National HPV Roundtable has tools to help increase your HPV vaccination rates. Of course, The Arizona Partnership for Immunization, the American Cancer Society, and the Arizona Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics do as well.

Please share this opportunity with other providers and possible stakeholders in Arizona who share our commitment to increase HPV vaccinations in children and adolescents. You may forward this email or send suggestions to Veronica Venturini, of the American Cancer Society of Arizona at (602) 810-1421 or Veronica.Venturini@cancer.org .
The American Cancer Society’s goal for HPV vaccine series completion by age 13 is 80% by 2026.

We can do this.

Thank you,

April 13, 2022

Please read the letter template below to send to your Arizona’s Governor expressing opposition for HB 2498.


Dear Governor Ducey,

I am appealing to your hard-earned wisdom through experience to veto HB 2498.  As you well know, one of the critical executive powers is the ability to respond to emergencies with thoughtful interventions.  During the COVID crisis, you exercised that authority in measured, least-restrictive ways.

One of the tools at your disposal was the use of vaccines.  While the current crisis did not require any statewide vaccine requirement, imagine a future variant with the infectiousness of the Omicron surge of December-January, which may have infected 30 or 40% of all Arizonans, combined with the virulence of another Coronavirus like MERS, which has a 30% fatality rate.

If such a surge were to occur, and HB 2498 was the law, your hands would be tied.  You could not keep businesses open and citizens employed by using any sort of vaccine requirement.  Cities and towns could not protect their citizens by requiring even their own employees to be vaccinated before interacting face-to-face with the people they serve.  Even public health departments could not require vaccination of their own employees in outreach or clinical settings or even vaccination sites – serving vulnerable patients.

This is an overly broad prohibition of a potential tool in an unforeseen crisis.  Please respect the authority that all citizens invest in our elected executive branch officials.  As you know, good people run for office in order to do the right thing, in their best judgement, to protect and serve the people who entrusted them with that authority.  Please don’t tie their hands in a future, unforeseen emergency.

Please veto HB 2498.

Sincerely,

March 28, 2022

Please read the letter template below to send to your Arizona Senator expressing opposition for HB2086.


Dear Senator,

Please vote no on HB 2086.  This is shortsighted and dangerous legislation.

Every child deserves an education.  Even those with existing medical conditions deserve as safe a school environment as possible.  There is already a process full of safeguards in place prior to implementing any new vaccine requirement, and there is already a mechanism by which parents may exempt their children from a required vaccine.

COVID has already put at least 4,708 Arizona children in the hospital since the beginning of the pandemic.  Tragically, 62 of those children lost their lives.  Perhaps worse, there are indications that perhaps up to ¼ of children infected by COVID have developed some form of long-COVID, with increases seen in diabetes, cardiac complications, and other chronic conditions.  Nationally, the Omicron variant led to children making up 20% of all those hospitalized for COVID, and no one knows what a future variant may bring.  Yet this legislation would prevent us from attempting to protect school children, no matter what we may face in the future.  If another wave of a serious variant occurs, schools might have no option but to close again, which we’ve already seen to be disastrous for education.

In addition, some parents wish to take the immunization rate within a school into account when deciding to which school they choose to send their children.  This is especially important to parents of children with underlying health conditions that place them at higher risk for serious COVID infection.

Please do not take away one of the few tools we may have in the future to keep all children safely in school.  Please vote no on HB 2086.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

An Arizona Citizen

May 6, 2021

Please read the letter template below to send to your Arizona Senator expressing opposition for HB2190.


Dear Senators,

I am writing to express my opposition to HB2190. This bill is a reaction to scare stories in the national media and does not address the needs of Arizona businesses or protect the health of vulnerable Arizonans.

There are many in our state who are caring for loved ones or who themselves are elderly, immune-compromised, or acutely ill. These Arizonans need to know the vaccination status of those providing services in a professional capacity. Business owners may wish to protect their employees or customers thus requiring staff to be vaccinated. Owners themselves may have health conditions or vulnerable family members and should not have to choose between protecting health and running their business. HB2190 prevents people from getting accurate, life-saving information. It is unnecessary government interference.

HB2190 treats all individuals and businesses as the same. We all need the freedom to make decisions based on our individual needs or preferences and free from overly broad legislation.

Thank you for your service to our state,

An Arizona Citizen

April 12, 2021

Please read the letter template below to send to your Arizona Senator urging them to decline support for the striker on HB 2190.


Dear Senator,

 

I am writing to raise concerns about the striker on HB 2190. I believe this bill is bad for business in Arizona for several reasons which I will explain below.

 

  1. This bill doesn’t allow business owners to decide the best course of action for their business. The bill treats all business owners and businesses as the same. Each business and owner are unique. Some business owners may feel that the nature of their business requires them to employ only those vaccinated against COVID-19 or serve only patrons who can provide a negative test or proof of vaccinations. For example, the business may serve at risk populations such as those with medical conditions or the elderly. Secondly, business owners are people too. Many business owners have health conditions that make COVID especially dangerous for them or may employ staff for whom COVID is a grave concern. After a difficult year, businesses don’t need the government imposing rules that may endanger their business, their patrons, or their employees.

 

  1. Recent surveys have shown that many Americans do not feel safe going to movie theaters or live sporting events. These businesses are struggling. One of the few tools they have is reassure a nervous public is to request information about vaccines. Arizona’s economy benefits from people from other states coming for events like spring baseball, but HB 2190 will only reinforce to would-be tourists that our state is not making their safety a priority.

 

  1. Arizona has been praised for how well we are doing with getting our population vaccinated. We have invested many of our resources and taxpayer dollars into managing and promoting these vaccines for those who can receive them. People who choose to be unvaccinated could drag the pandemic on for longer leading to more missed work for sick people, more bankruptcies, and a slower recovery for our state’s economy.

 

Please decline to support this bill!

 

Thank you for your service to our great state,

 

A concerned Arizona citizen

March 29, 2021

Please read the letter template below to send to the Attorney General urging the support of positive vaccine messaging and misinformation accountability.


The Honorable Mark Brnovich

Attorney General State of Arizona

2005 N Central Avenue

Phoenix, AZ 85004

 

Dear Attorney General Brnovich,

As an Arizona citizen who cares about our state’s health, I am very concerned about the spread of false information about COVID-19 vaccines on the social media platforms of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. A recent study by Center for Countering Digital Hate—an organization that studies misinformation online—found that just 12 antivaccine activists were responsible for two-thirds of the anti-vaccine disinformation found circulating on social media platforms. Unfortunately, the lies spread from those dozen accounts reached approximately 59 million other people. Despite many promises, social media companies have not yet banned all twelve of these “disinformation dozen”.

We urge you to do all that is within your power to hold these social media companies accountable and stop the viral spread of bad health information for the sake of all Arizonans. You may also wish to consider reviewing or joining other attorneys general in signing on to a letter sent to Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, and Sundar Pichai about this issue.

Please reach out to The Arizona Partnership for Immunization (izadvocacy@tapi.org) if you would like more information about how vaccines protect our economy and health. TAPI is a state-wide non-profit vaccination coalition with over 400 members and member organizations. They have been monitoring vaccine levels and misinformation in our state since their formation in 1992.

I very much appreciate your consideration on this matter, and thank you for everything you do in service of our great state.

Sincerely,

-a concerned Arizona citizen

February 17, 2021

Please read the letter template below to send to Governor Ducey urging the support of positive vaccine messaging and legislation.


Dear Governor Ducey:

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on many of our communities and our economy. Many Arizonans have become sick, died, or suffered economic hardship as a result of the pandemic. Our best hope for ending this pandemic is a safe and effective vaccine distributed to as many Arizonans as possible. With the protection a vaccine provides, our healthcare systems, businesses, and schools can become fully operational again.

As individuals active in public health agencies and organizations, and as fellow citizens, we urge you to:

  1. Decline to support legislation that weakens vaccine infrastructure. Strong infrastructure prevents disease and encourages economic growth. When vaccination systems get disrupted, outbreaks of preventable diseases occur. Sick people miss work and school and cause others to get sick and miss work and school. This causes a preventable drag on Arizona’s economy as well as hardship for those who are sick and our healthcare system in general.
  2. Work with our medical and public health professionals to encourage confidence in the new vaccines. Communicate openly about the benefits of vaccines and serve as an ambassador to your staff and the public. You may wish to consider being vaccinated yourself and sharing that with the public.  A vocal minority may be invested in their narrative that vaccines will harm them. While their beliefs may be sincere, their evidence is lacking. These activists do not have a plan to get us out of the pandemic and are simply opposed to most public health measures. We believe that the majority of the public is ready for an evidence-based way out of the pandemic and simply needs the reassurance and leadership you can provide.
  3. Many healthcare stakeholders are engaged in efforts to distribute timely and accurate information about immunization. TAPI and its partners would be pleased to work with the Arizona Department of Health Services in any statewide public awareness campaign to promote COVID-19 vaccinations. Please let us know how we can help.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter. If you or your staff have any questions, comments, or ideas, please contact Debbie McCune Davis at 602-363-0750 or debbied@tapi.org

Sincerely yours,

October 20, 2020

Please read the letter template to send to Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in support of continuing the mask mandate in Maricopa County.


The Honorable Clint Hickman and
Members of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors
301 West Jefferson Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85003

 

Dear Chairman Hickman and Members of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors:

As leaders in the health care ecosystem, we thank you for supporting public health with the mask mandate, the most effective safety protocol to minimize infection with the exception of a shelter in place mandate.

We understand there is a small but vocal minority calling for the elimination of the mask mandate in Maricopa. We urge you to continue maintaining the mandate. To lift the mandate would be a devastating blow to the progress we have seen in the past few months of declining COVID infection and death rates in Arizona, once an epicenter of the pandemic.

Until a vaccine is widely available, masks and social distancing are the most effective tools we have to save lives, short of widespread shelter in place orders that would devastate the economy.

  • Multiple scientific studies have been published demonstrating proper mask usage reduces infection[i]. There have been no scientific studies that show masks do not reduce COVID infection.
  • Our own experience in Arizona reflects the effectiveness of widespread mask usage. We came dangerously close to exceeding hospital capacity in Arizona over the July 4th Since the mask mandate was implemented, hospital inpatient rates and deaths due to COVID have continued to drop. A recent CDC report expressed that masks played a crucial role in controlling the outbreak in Arizona this past summer.[ii] The United States has struggled more than any other county with mask mandates, enduring almost 21% of total deaths with only about 4% of the entire world population.
  • According to a Harvard CAPS/Harris Pool, 79% support a mask mandate (July 2020).

Science supports mask wearing. Removing the mask mandate before a vaccine is available will cost lives. We urge you to maintain the existing mask mandate.

Thank you for your consideration of this critical matter.

Sincerely yours,

[i] The World Health Organization, June 2020, Institute for Health Metrics, June 2020, Health affairs-Wyi Lyu & George Wehby, June 2020

[ii] The Center for Disease Control, October 2020

 

August, 2020

Please read the letter TAPI and some of our important partners have sent to Governor Ducey. Help us urge him to remind parents that kids still need vaccines!

Childhood Immunizations during COVID-19

Everyone feels nervous getting a vaccine sometimes, but children with special needs or developmental disabilities may need extra support getting their vaccines! TAPI and @DMG_AZ want to share these tips to make it easier! For even more strategies visit: http://ow.ly/NFZl50KbQYZ

The arrival of polio vaccines in the 1950s led to a dramatic decline in this paralyzing disease, reducing cases by 99% worldwide. With the recent report of polio case in New York, Dr. Yvonne A. Maldonado explains what parents need to know: http://ow.ly/rPlM50KfS0n

Ready to get your #COVID19 shot or booster? Two vaccine events are happening tomorrow in Laveen and Mesa:

▶️ 9am-1pm: El Buen Pastor, 950 W 8th Ave, Mesa

▶️ 3-6pm: Laveen Education Center, 5001 W Dobbins Rd

Call 602-506-6767 for questions or visit http://maricopa.gov/COVID19VaccineLocations.

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Stay home if you are sick

Avoid close contact with
sick people and wear a mask

Cover your nose and mouth
when you sneeze

Wash your hands often

Clean and disinfect

Stay up to date on your vaccinations

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