Chandler doctor only accepting new patients who are vaccinated

Dr. Andrew Carroll says his office gets five to 15 new patient applications every day. "With...
Dr. Andrew Carroll says his office gets five to 15 new patient applications every day. "With just two doctors, it isn't possible for us to see that volume," said Carroll. "We choose to be choosey."(AZ Family)
Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 1:07 PM MST
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CHANDLER, Ariz. (3TV/CBS 5) -- A Chandler doctor has a new policy that some people are calling controversial.

“We strongly believe vaccinations are our way out of this pandemic, so at this time, we have chosen to have only patients who have had their vaccinations against COVID join our practice,” said Dr. Andrew Carroll.

If someone wants to become a new patient but is unvaccinated, Carroll offers to vaccinate them. If they decline, he wants them to find another physician.

“It’s really about aligning practice philosophies,” said Carroll. “We want people who align with how we practice and how we want to treat people and be patients here, and if you have somebody who doesn’t believe or want to have a COVID vaccination, why would you want to be at a practice where the physician is going to be very pushy on you every visit?”

“It’s just peace of mind that the place doesn’t have COVID floating around,” said Carroll’s patient, Kwamena Degraft-Johnson.

Not everyone feels the same way as Degraft-Johnson. Carroll said he’s gotten some complaints, and some people on Twitter are calling the policy unethical. Caroll said it’s a private practice, so he can choose who to accept as a new patient, and he believes this is more ethical because he’s being upfront.

“I think it’s highly likely that other private practice physicians will be doing this, hospitals, because of the way their emergency rooms are, they’re not allowed to turn away patients for any reason, so patients who go to the emergency room, they have to be seen no matter what,” said Carroll.

The Chandler physician gets five to 15 new patient applications every day. “With just two doctors, it isn’t possible for us to see that volume,” said Carroll. “We choose to be choosey.”

This comes as Pfizer just announced its lower-dose vaccine works for kids as young as five. Carroll said he looks forward to getting that shot to his youngest patients if the FDA authorizes it.

“That’s going to be very, very important that they look at the data and examine it and make sure it’s going to be safe, efficacious, with no long-term side effects in children,” said Carroll.

Health experts said the Pfizer vaccine could be available for those young children by Halloween.

“The sooner we all get vaccinated, the sooner we will be rid of COVID,” said Degraft-Johnson.

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