Former Editor of the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology (JVIR) Ziv Haskal (University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA) has started a petition calling for his interventional radiology (IR) colleagues to pledge to help get their patients vaccinated against COVID-19.
In full, the petition reads: “As interventional radiologists, we see many patients in our clinic who are, by pre-existing conditions, eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations, yet many or most seem unaware or do not know how to seek vaccinations in this turbulent time of vaccine distribution. We have the ability to make every single one of our clinic patients aware of this with counselling at every clinic visit.
“Once you start asking your outpatients about their and their eligible family members vaccine status—prepare to be amazed by how many patients lack the information—or urging to actively seek it—that they need.”
Speaking directly to Interventional News, Haskal explains his motivations for starting this petition. He says, “In the last few weeks of holding my outpatient interventional radiology clinic, I asked every one of my patients if they, or their significant others, had been vaccinated—they are all current candidates due to their underlying conditions or age. With rare exception, the answer was disappointingly low. Patients expressed a desire to be vaccinated but had little idea where to begin and stated that they were waiting to be contacted.
“As endovascular specialists and interventional radiologists, we have first-hand contact with our patients and can help reinforce the message and counsel them about their vaccine candidacy and how to move forward and get vaccinated now.
“I am hoping this campaign will raise awareness so that we can all help our patients step forward, and provide them with the local expertise in how and where to get booked for vaccines appointment today.”
Sharing the petition on Twitter, Haskal put: “Interventional radiologists worldwide: Pledge to counsel & help [get] all our clinic patients COVID vaccinated—fill the gap! Retweet #IRVAX Sign the petition! Act Today.” He is using the hashtag #IRVAX to spread the message on social media.
The petition can be found here.