"Garfield Rising" sculpture with surgical mask

Neighborhood FAQ & Resources for COVID-19

There are a million FAQ’s about Covid-19 but we wanted to gather some questions we’re hearing from our neighbors as well as some Garfield & Phoenix related information in one place. We are not the experts, although we’re trying to get some involved. Lots of links and resources at the end. Upcoming COVID-19 virtual forum/Q&A is March 25th at 6pm, hope you’ll join us!

When can I get vaccinated?

Probably not yet. As of February there are two main places you can get vaccinated, both require you to sign up for an appointment ahead of time. The state and county can (and have) had different rules, at mid-February both are offering vaccines if you’re 65 and older or if your job tells you (health workers, K-12 educators, law enforcement, etc.).

I won the Vaccine Lottery and got injected, when does it start working?

According to the CDC there are two vaccines currently in use, both of them are similar and both you get injected in your arm. Both vaccines seem fully effective two weeks after the second shot:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech – you need two injections, 21 days apart. 95% effective.
  • Moderna – you need two injections, 28 days apart. 94.1% effective.

There’s also the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, it’s only one dose but there’s not as much data available about it, yet.

Are there any known side effects from the COVID-19 Vaccine?

People have a wide range of mild side effects, the second shot especially can make people feel sick for a couple of days. Other people just have a sore arm and feel fine! There does not seem to be any correlation to the vaccine working really well and getting sick, even if you have no side effects you’re likely protected. The CDC has a good page detailing side effects and when to worry about them.

I got jabbed twice and it’s been two weeks, can I take off my mask?

Sorry, no. We may have to wait until herd immunity (in other words, the virus isn’t still spreading all over the place). The vaccines are designed to prevent severe reactions to Covid-19, but we still don’t have enough data to know whether you can get a really mild version and pass it to other people (although there is some hopeful data about that). The safest course is to assume you’re infected and spreading it, even if you can’t tell.

So keep your mask on, stay socially distanced and keep washing those hands. Hopefully we get better news as more data comes in.

FINE, I’ll wait until herd immunity. When is that?

Nobody knows, sorry. If the vaccine does help stop people from spreading Covid-19 (not just helps people get less sick), then some data models indicate when 70% of the population is vaccinated. That’s probably a best case scenario, though. The short answer is: “not in the next couple months.”

The better question is probably “is getting the vaccine safer than getting Covid-19?” So far all the data seems to be a strong yes.

What about all these COVID-19 variants (UK, South Africa, etc.), does the vaccines protect against them?

You’ll be shocked to hear: we don’t know yet. There is some data indicating the vaccines seem effective against most variants, but COVID-19 keeps mutating and we haven’t had enough time to get real data. This is part of why it’s so important to stop the spread of COVID-19; by wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands, getting vaccinated, etc. we reduce the amount of COVID-19 in the world and so there’s less out there to mutate. The same actions that keep you safe keep everyone else safe!

Where can I get tested?

There are a ton of different places offering COVID-19 tests. Try local pharmacies, etc. Many have “free” tests where they’ll bill your health insurance if you have it, and it’ll just be free if you don’t. Most will ask for some kind of photo identification. The City of Phoenix is running a free testing blitz.

Is there a way to get vaccinated if I’m not eligible yet?

Yes! The Arizona State University Research Enterprise (ASURE) is seeking volunteers in both non-clinical and clinical capacities to support the Phoenix Municipal Stadium COVID-19 Vaccination Site. Volunteers are able to receive the vaccine the same day, after completing one shift. Upon receiving your vaccine, you will be given a card and will schedule the date and time of your second dose before you leave the site. Volunteer opportunities get filled up quickly, but keep checking back at this website for updates:

Resources and More Information