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What Arizona Docs are Saying...Vaccine Hesitancy

From Print Issue - Spring 2022
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Why do you think some patients are hesitant to get vaccines?

They think there is still not enough information about the vaccine and think it is unsafe. —Ashwin Patel, MD


Fear. Reading small bits of incorrect information repeated many times that lend credibility. —Vinay Kwatra, DO


Being told wrong information, not understanding the benefits, not understanding that they have a responsibility to prevent the spread of disease. —David Baratz, MD


Lack of basic knowledge. —Paul Baranko, MD


Spurious information. —David Sanderson, MD


Misinformation. —Mellissa Holden Leborgne, DO


Minorities tend to have greater mistrust of the healthcare system. But I think political beliefs underlie the strongest refusal to get vaccines and that is the major reason people are hesitant. —Arthur Chou, MD


Political ideology, death of expertise, platforms to spread misinformation. —Molly Solorzano, MD


Previous loss of trust in government, the medical profession and health care industry. Continual changing of messaging from official agencies. —Leo Martin, MD


Patients have mentioned not knowing short- and long-term side effects. —Mary Garcia Kumirov, MD


Not having all the information. —Marcela Cristea, MD


They believe adverse effects are under reported. —Jeffrey Taffet, MD


The diseases they prevent are rarer now, so they aren’t as scary. —Jane Lyons, MD


They are inundated with stories of side effects, even though serious ones are extremely rare, it creates a fear that we must combat on a daily basis. —Cheri Nason, MD


Religious reasons, concerns about the side effects, the belief that you should have a right to decide what treatments and therapeutics you receive, political coercion. —Brenda A. Gentz, MD, FASA

Meet the participating Physicians:
Ann Cheri Foxx, MD

Practice: Nocio Interventional Pain

Phone: (480) 818-4009


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Anne Maiden-Hope, DO

Practice: Adelante Healthcare

Phone: (877) 809-5092


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Arthur Chou, MD

Practice: Horizon Health & Wellness

Phone: (833) 431-4449


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Ashwin Patel, MD

Practice: Urgent Care of AZ

Phone: (602) 249-2848


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Brenda A. Gentz, MD

Practice: Valleywise Comprehensive

Phone: (833) 855-9973


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Cheri Nasson, MD

Practice: Desert Shore Pediatrics

Phone: (480) 460-4949


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David M. Baratz, MD

Practice: Pulmonary Associates

Phone: (480) 290-7000


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David R. Sanderson, MD (R)

What media resources of information do your patients use to learn about vaccines?


Which vaccines are patients most reluctant to take?


What is needed to convince more patients about the safety and efficacy of vaccines?

Allowing for personal decision making without coercion. —Joseph Brooks, MD


Objective information from public health resources. —Ronald Serbin, MD


Stop the misinformation that so many people give out. —David Baratz, MD


Continue frequent factual statements. —David Sanderson, MD


Objective nonpolitical scientific information. —Tim Bonatus, DO


One on one communication is the best form of information for the resistant individuals. —Mellissa Holden Leborgne, DO


More time than the standard, “by the way, would you like to get this vaccine you’re due for,” as you’re concluding a visit would go a long way. —Matthew Nelson, DO, MPH, MA


Actively engage patients who are hesitant about vaccines in a supportive, nonjudgmental, and empathic way. Motivational interviewing techniques can be effective. —Arthur Chou, MD


Evidence of safety and efficacy that is not contaminated by manufacturer funding of Congress, the FDA, medical societies, medical journals, and other means of publication. —Leo Martin, MD


It is no longer a rational/informational decision. It has become emotional and that is a difficult barrier to break. —Steve Hoshiwara, MD

More educational material and short informational video clips. —Marcela Cristea, MD

Transparency. —Jeffrey Taffet, MD


The anti vax crowd has an army of people who work together to discredit vaccine advocates and spread misinformation and yet we don’t have the same army of people spreading the truth. —Cheri Nason, MD


Convincing evidence that they are safe and effective. —Mark Baldree, MD


Patients are seeking a strong, unified voice from the medical community in a time where doubt and uncertainty are running as rampant. Some patients respond to data and safety measures, others need to hear personal testimonies/endorsements. —Anne Maiden-Hope, DO, FAAP


Normalcy of getting vaccines in their social settings and the Governor should get behind the CDC recommendations (that is, stop making it harder for common sense public health initiatives). —Ann Cheri Foxx, MD

Meet the participating Physicians:
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Jane Lyons, MD

Practice: Dignity Health - St. Joseph's

Phone: (602) 406-3000


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Jeffrey Taffet, MD

Practice: Biltmore ENT

Phone: (602) 956-1250


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Joseph Brooks, MD

Practice: Arizona Specialized Gynecology

Phone: (602) 265-1112


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Leo Martin, MD

Practice: Leo A Martin, MD PC

Phone: (602) 273-0156

Website: N/A

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Marcela Cristea, MD

Practice: Banner Health

Phone: (480) 827-5042


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Vinay Kwatra, DO

Practice: Phoenix Children's Pediatrics

Phone: (602) 996-0190


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Mary Garcia-Kumirov, MD

Practice: Mariposa Community Health Center

Phone: (520) 281-1550


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Mark Baldree, MD (R)
Meet the participating Physicians:
Mathew Nelson, DO.jpg
Matthew Nelson, DO

Practice: Nocio Interventional Pain

Phone: (480) 818-4009


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Mellissa Holden Leborgne, DO

Practice: Banner Health

Phone: (602) 839-2000


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Molly Solorzano, MD

Practice: Grand Canyon Anesthesia

Phone: (602) 343-2900


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Paul V. Baranko, MD
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Richard Dobrusin, DO

Practice: Cigna Medical Group

Phone: (800) 233-3264


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Ronald Serbin, MD

Practice: Pediatrix

Phone: (602) 866-0550


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Steve Hoshiwara, MD

Practice: MDVIP - Covenant Care

Phone: (480) 290-7000


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Tim Bonatus, DO

Practice: Northern Arizona Orthopedics 

Phone: (928) 774-7757


What could the government (local, state, and federal) do better to educate the public about the importance of vaccines?


Media blitzes with trusted experts/celebrities educating on the importance of vaccines and regulating and stopping false information on all social media platforms. —Ashwin Patel, MD


Not sure they have the credibility at this point. —Vinay Kwatra, DO


Let physicians do the education. —Paul Baranko, MD


Tell folks the truth. Don’t try to force or legislate people taking vaccines. —James E. Gerace, MD


Make online data more accessible to the public. It’s difficult to digest a voluminous CDC site or clunky state health department webpage. —Matthew Nelson, DO, MPH, MA


To educate their constituents that extraordinary times and public health crises are one of the reasons we do have a centralized government that is given power to act for the greater good. —Molly Solorzano, MD


Increase the ease and user-friendly experience. —Richard Dobrusin, DO, FACOFP


Only allow physicians and scientists that are knowledgeable about vaccines to educate the public about them. —Mary Garcia Kumirov, MD


I would like to see a debate with a panel of medical experts and the pundits who are so vocal in dispersing misinformation in a nonpartisan setting. —Steve Hoshiwara, MD


Public health campaigns (television, radio). —Jane Lyons, MD


People want to know the risks are in taking ANY medicine. Where is the informed consent? —Mark Baldree, MD


Have a strong, consistent message regarding the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. —Anne Maiden-Hope, DO, FAAP


Government vaccine messaging needs to be in lockstep regardless of political party affiliation. —Ann Cheri Foxx, MD


Stop focusing just on vaccines- consider therapeutics and treatment options. What about focusing on public health-decreasing known risk factors such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and obesity? —Brenda A. Gentz, MD, FASA

How do you communicate with your patients about vaccines?



Interested in having your voice heard by your fellow peer physicians in Arizona? Contact us at

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