What You Need to Know-Week of March 1st

The most important weekly updates for you to keep your community healthy




In this Update:

1. Urgent Updates: Transmission, Hospital Capacity, Vaccine & Testing Information

2. March Wellness Reminder: Box Breathing

3. Information You Need: Tips for what to do after you receive the vaccine!

4. Quick Question: Is it safe for me to get vaccinated if I am pregnant and breastfeeding?




1. Urgent Updates: Transmission, Hospital Capacity, Vaccine & Testing Information



Updated as of: 03-01-2021
Current Transmission Status: High, but decreasing

Transmission:

Current Hospital Capacity Concern: High, but decreasing

  • During the past week, there were an average of 1,694 COVID-19 patients in Arizona hospitals.
  • Currently only 15% of ICU beds, 13% of in-patient beds, and 53% of emergency department hospital beds across the state are available for any incoming admissions

Vaccine Information:

Great news! The Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine has met the FDA requirements for efficacy and safety. With one dose and 30 days after vaccination, this vaccine was shown to be 85% effective against severe COVID-19 and 66% effective against moderate to severe COVID-19. Over 1.7million total Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been administered across Arizona! Per every 100,000 Arizonans, over 20,000 have been vaccinated. 

  • All counties, with the exception of Santa Cruz county are currently vaccinating those 65 and older.

You may also sign up for an Arizona Vaccine Program secure portal account to schedule your vaccination appointment when it is your time to do so. Use Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome as your browser for best usability.

Please continue to stay home and take the necessary precautions (e.g., practicing hand hygiene, physical distancing, and wearing cloth face coverings) to prevent COVID-19.



2. March Wellness Reminder – Breathing


As we come up on the one-year anniversary of the pandemic in the U.S., we want to take this time to remind people to reconnect with your wellness. It is important to find moments in your week for self-care as we both process the past year and prepare for the one ahead of us. 

Wellness tip of the week: Square Breathing 

Also known as box breathing, or four-square breathing, this is a breathing technique that will help slow down your breaths, strengthen your breathing muscles, and calm your mind. The pattern has four parts: breathe in for 4, hold for 4, breathe out for 4, hold for 4, then repeat. 

  1. Sit in a comfortable position in a quiet environment. You should have good posture, sitting up straight, to allow your lungs to completely fill and empty. 
  2. To start, exhale slowly through your mouth until you feel like you have emptied your lungs.
  3. Breathe in slowly through your nose while counting to four slowly in your head. Inflate your lower lungs first by sending air deep into your belly, then fill up your chest. You shouldn’t need to move your shoulders during this. 
  4. Hold your breath, with your lungs full of air, and count to four in your head again. 
  5. Exhale slowly through your mouth, start from your belly then move to your chest, to the count of four.
  6. Hold your breath without air in your lungs to the count of four again. 
  7. Repeat 4 times in one sitting, ideally a couple times each day. 

If you feel light headed, dizzy, or uncomfortable, you can always count faster or count to a different number. The purpose is simply to intentionally breathe slower than usual.  As you practice, you should find that it gets easier. Return to normal breathing for at least a few breaths before and take care when standing up.


3.  Information You Need: Tips for what to do after you receive the COVID-19 vaccine! 


After getting vaccinated:

  1. Stay at the vaccine distribution site for the full observation period after getting the vaccine 
  • After you receive your vaccine, you will be asked to wait for 15 minutes (or 30 minutes if you have a history of severe allergic reactions). This observation period is just another precaution to ensure you are feeling fine!
  • Do not worry, in the extremely rare event that someone does have an allergic reaction, all vaccine points of distribution have a healthcare provider on site and  are stocked with epinephrine and benadryl.
  1. Sign up for VSafe – A CDC vaccination health checker. 
  • V-safe is a text messaging and web survey service that checks in with you after you receive a COVID-19 vaccine to monitor any side effects. The service also sends you reminders when to receive your second dose of the vaccine (if you still need to get it).
  • To sign up after receiving your vaccine, visit vsafe.cdc.gov and click Get Started. For step by step instructions on how to sign up, visit this link.
  1. Continue to get lots of rest and stay hydrated
  • Good sleep and staying hydrated both contribute to a well-functioning immune system!
  1. Expect common side effects
  • Common side effects include pain at the injection site, swelling, rash, and itching in the vaccinated arm, fever, chills, tiredness or fatigue, and headache. 
    • More recently reported side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.
  • If you are worried about other chronic conditions or any side effects lasting more than a few days or pain or swelling at the injection site increases after 24 hours, reach out to your doctor.

Not everyone will feel side effects after their first or even second dose of a vaccine and if you are one of those people, you should not worry. Everyone’s immune systems are different and therefore respond differently to vaccinations. For more information, stay tuned for next week’s update.

For tips on what to do before getting the COVID-19 vaccine, visit our previous update.


3.  Information You Need: Tips for what to do after you receive the COVID-19 vaccine! 



If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, the choice to get vaccinated should be decided with your doctor or health care provider’s input. Each circumstance may differ depending on health status, risk of COVID-19 exposure, what stage of pregnancy you are in and other factors that should be considered with your health care professional. 

Check for updates in guidance surrounding vaccination and pregnancy at this link.

Current available data suggests that pregnant people may have a heightened risk of severe COVID-19 illness, and may also be at risk for preterm delivery if they contract COVID-19 while they are pregnant. 

  • Fortunately, there is no live SARS-CoV-2 virus in any of the available, United States vaccines. So, by getting vaccinated while pregnant or breastfeeding, you cannot give COVID-19 to your children. 

Most vaccines are safe to receive during pregnancy and while breastfeeding; however, little research is available on pregnant people and their birth outcomes after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. So, be sure to consult with your doctor or healthcare provider to find out whether or not it is advised for you to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, especially if you have underlying health conditions that put you at an increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness (e.g., diabetes, asthma, obesity, or have a weakened immune system).




The next update will cover mask information. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to COVID-19 in Arizona, please complete next week’s AZCOVIDTXT survey that you will receive via text in about a week.

View Updates from Past Weeks:
Update from week of February 22nd (English | Spanish)
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