Hello, Fall Friends!
Yes, the leaves are changing colors and there is a bit of briskness in the air, what a beautiful time of year. Here at TVD we also have a change to celebrate – please join me in welcoming Dr. Milt McColl to the TVD Team!
Dr. McColl and I have known each other for longer than we might care to admit, each of us with deep Stanford roots. Whereas my journey from undergrad to The Village Doctor has been a relatively traditional one, Milt has taken a road much less traveled. While I went off to pursue my residency at UCLA, Milt went off to… play football for the SF 49ers. Yes, in 1981, along with Joe Montana, Dwight Clark, and Ronnie Lott. All while going to Stanford medical school. Indeed, quite a journey, and I encourage you to read more about it here and here. But more importantly, Milt’s journey has allowed him to grow into a wonderful, mature, caring physician and human being. We are excited to have him join his new team here at #TeamTVD.
In less exciting, but also important news, it is time for your FLU SHOT… AND your COVID Booster. As one of my colleagues put it, you should get your flu shot when you see Halloween candy for sale. Or perhaps even a bit later. Given that our annual flu vaccine’s protection peaks about two weeks after getting the vaccine, and then wanes over time, we try to time getting our flu vaccine a few weeks or a month before the (unpredictable) beginning of flu season. Ideally everyone should be vaccinated by the end of October. You can read more about this year’s flu vaccine at the CDC website here.
The added twist this year is the new COVID booster, recently updated to include both the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants, and hence also called a “bivalent” vaccine (covering both the original strain of SARS-CoV-2, and the BA.4/BA.5 variants). Given that we anticipate a resurgence of COVID along with our flu season, the timing of getting this bivalent booster aligns with getting your flu shot, and the degree of encouragement aligns also. If you are older and/or sicker, you definitely should get both a flu shot and a COVID booster, and sooner rather than later. Younger and healthier folks have more wiggle room, but we at TVD are encouraging flu shots and COVID boosters for all (who are eligible).
And yes, you can get them at the same time. And no, it doesn’t really matter which brand (Pfizer or Moderna) you get, so long as it has been at least 2 months since your last COVID vaccine, or 3 months since you had COVID, if you were so unlucky. You can read (much) more about all of this at the CDC website here.
So, get vaccinated, and go team!
Eric Weiss, MD, October 3, 2022
GET YOUR TEENAGER (AND YOURSELF) TO BED!
Most adolescents are back in school now and slowly starting to dream of those summer days that allowed them to sleep in and stay up late. Truly, many of us wish there were more hours in the day to get things done, but in reality, we should be wishing for more hours in the night so we could sleep more!
MONKEYPOX – WHAT SHOULD I KNOW?
With over 17,000 people in the United States now having been infected, overall case counts are starting to decrease over the last few weeks. While monkeypox can affect anyone, the risk of contracting monkeypox in the general public remains incredibly low. Among U.S. monkeypox cases with available data, 99% of cases occurred in men, 94% of whom reported recent male-to-male sexual or close intimate contact.
I’d like to share a note from a good friend who does amazing work with the hard working team at NARAL Pro-Choice America, commonly known as simply NARAL, whose 2.5 million members fight for reproductive freedom for everybody, including access to abortion care, birth control, paid parental leave, and protections from pregnancy discrimination.
As you all know, the landscape of reproductive freedom experienced a tectonic shift on June 24. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade will reverberate for generations, causing untold harm to millions of women, pregnant people, families, and communities.
This didn’t happen overnight — it was the result of a decades-long strategy by anti-choice Republicans to maintain their power. This is about abortion — and it’s also about freedom and democracy.
We need a paradigm shift. We are the majority — the 8 in 10 Americans who support the legal right to abortion. We are looking beyond 2022 and building a massive, grassroots movement that will go on offense to defeat those who have taken away our rights and energize the millions of Americans who are looking to take action. NARAL is uniquely suited to channel this unprecedented energy and outrage into real, tangible action.
If this issue resonates with you, I invite you to learn more about next month’s event, the “Peninsula Power of Choice 2022” luncheon. Tickets and sponsorships are still available.
See you there!
Again, TVD Newsletter 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…