Holiday greetings, TVD friends!
Most of you will read this on the 25th, so Merry Christmas! And warm Holiday greetings to all others of different faiths and traditions. Here we are, coming to the end of this dreadful year, with HOPE beginning to shine in the form of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, a new Federal stimulus package, and the beginning of a new year. Whew.
Vaccine update. Not surprisingly, we’ve been getting a lot of questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, and when our patients might be able to get their first dose. The short answer is, we don’t know yet. But we’re working hard on it. The Village Doctor has signed up with the State’s COVIDReadi program, as well as CAIR, the California Immunization Registry, and is working closely with San Mateo County’s Department of Public Health, which has an excellent COVID-19 vaccine resource page, which notes:
“Eventually there will be enough vaccine for everyone who lives in San Mateo County, and we are laying the foundation now to make access as easy as possible. Because initial vaccine supplies will be limited, the federal government has created guidance, which California has further detailed for who will receive the vaccine and in what order. The first groups to receive vaccines will be:
- Healthcare Workers (estimated at 38,000 people in San Mateo County)
- Healthcare workers doing direct and COVID-facing work (clinical and non-clinical)
- Medical First Responders (paramedics, EMTs)
- Residents in Long Term Care Facilities (estimated at 8,000 people in San Mateo County)
In addition, local hospitals have already begun immunizing their front line workers having received their first shipments of the Pfizer vaccine last week. I’m proud to see my social media pages full of images of my colleagues and former Emergency Medicine residents getting immunized across the country. Lastly, our own Dr. Jennifer Abrams has written this week’s FAQ titled “I’m “at risk”, how, and when, can I get my COVID-19 vaccine”. Please read this excellent contribution below.
So, we’re getting there. And we’re following the situation closely. As soon as there is clarity on getting our patients immunized, we will let you know. The first group will include our older and “at risk” patients, and when the time comes, hopefully in the next 4 weeks, WE will reach out to YOU to let you know.
In the meantime, please continue to shelter in place, limit social gatherings, wash your hands, and wear a mask in public places. We are so close… time to be extra good.
And time to have an extra healthy, and happy, holidays.
Eric Weiss, MD, December 22, 2020
NOTE: CV🦠News is a labor of love. If you enjoy reading this, please share widely! Was this forwarded to you by a friend? Please subscribe here.
Likely not until early 2021. California is following the CDC’s advice in prioritizing certain health care workers and long-term care residents, a group that it is calling phase 1A.
The state has developed a detailed tier system for its first wave of vaccines. Since there won’t be enough doses initially to immunize all health care workers and long-term care residents, priority will go to older medical professionals and residents of skilled nursing facilities. Younger health care workers and less medically vulnerable long-term care residents will need to wait longer.
The federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recently recommended the second priority group (phase 1B) should include frontline essential workers and people over 75. In doing so, the panel tried to balance the competing interests of keeping society functioning, by protecting essential workers, and saving lives, by protecting elderly Americans who are most likely to die if infected… Read more
Jennifer Abrams, MD, December 22, 2020
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is an mRNA vaccine that requires 2 shots in the upper arm, 21 days apart. Regarding safety, first off, it is important to clarify that the vaccine CANNOT give you COVID-19. You will have some protection against the virus within a few days of receiving the vaccine and 95% of people will be protected from becoming seriously ill with the virus within 7 days of getting the second dose.
Based on the safety and efficacy determined in clinical trials with over 44,000 participants, the Pfizer vaccine received an emergency use authorization from the FDA on December 11 and has now been given across the country to front-line workers. The most common side effects usually occur within a day or two of getting the vaccine and include pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site or chills, tiredness and headaches. In the clinical trials, these symptoms tend to be mild to moderate and last only a few days. They are more common after the second dose than the first. For symptomatic relief, these symptoms resulted in about 28% taking pain medication after the first shot and 45% after the second shot. These side effects are similar to what some experience after getting the flu shot and are actually a sign that the body is reacting properly to the vaccine… Read more
Jackie Phillips, MD, December 22, 2020
Stanford Galvez COVID Testing
Please make note of this update to the Stanford Galvez COVID testing center.
As of Mon 12/14, the Stanford University Galvez drive-thru testing lot will be accepting both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients (no doctor’s order required) without an appointment 7 days a week from 8am-4pm.
If you instead present to the Stanford Emergency Department during Galvez hours, a nurse screener there will ask: “Are you here to see a physician, or are you here for a COVID Test?” Patients who want to be seen by a physician will be directed to the Emergency Department, while those wanting just a COVID test will be directed to the Galvez testing site. This is to help preserve capacity and ED resources for those needing emergency medical attention, while maintaining convenient access to Galvez COVID testing nearby.
However, walk-up patients not in a vehicle, and patients who present outside Galvez hours will be seen in the Emergency Department as an ED visit.
Who: Anyone over 1 year old.
Where: Stanford Arrillaga Center (ACSR) 341 Galvez Street, Stanford, CA 94305
If you have made it this far, time for a reward, something to lighten your day, and acknowledge the human spirit. Find some escape, or perhaps even inspiration, in this ever growing collection of works and perspectives gathered from around the world. Please contact me directly if you have come across something that has lifted your heart today. Dr. Eric Weiss
Embrace the little things
As snow falls, school districts are reminding kids to enjoy the festive season with a snow day.
Jefferson County Schools in West Virginia declared a snow day last week with a heartfelt note from Superintendent Bondy Shay Gibson, who told parents to “take pictures of your kids in snow hats they will outgrow by next year.”
“For generations, families have greeted the first snow day of the year with joy,” the letter reads. “It is a time of renewed wonder at all the beautiful things that each season holds. A reminder of how fleeting a childhood can be. An opportunity to make some memories with your family that you hold on to for life.”
Appreciating delivery driver hero
In Chesterfield Country, Virginia, thousands of neighbors came out to surprise UPS driver, Anthony Gaskin, with an emotional ‘thank you’.
Anthony has had an extremely busy year, delivering nearly 200 packages a day through lockdowns and the Holiday season.
Hundreds of residents from the neighbourhood lined the streets and held up signs, screamed his name, honked their horns, and rang bells.
Santa gets ready for the big day
Christmas Day is nearly upon us and Santa has held a team meeting with his reindeers to discuss take-off procedures in preparation for the big night.
Again, CV🦠News is a labor of love. If you enjoy reading this, please share widely! Was this forwarded to you by a friend? Please subscribe here.
Yours, in health and resilience,
Eric and the TVD MD team…