COVID and FLU VACCINE,COVID TESTS, OFFICE UPDATES
August 23, 2021
With the current viral and Covid 19 surge we are offering many services to help you take the best care of your family this fall. Read all the current recommendations, details, and how to best access care:
We continue to stock a large supply of Pfizer vaccine and administer it daily to ages 12 and up. August 23rd the FDA gave full approval for ages 16 and up. There is still emergency use approval for ages 12-15. We are anticipating EUA approval for ages 5-11, at a lower dosage sometime this fall. We will be ready to vaccinate our patients and community as soon as approval is granted. We are not permitted to use the vaccine “off -label” for younger children.
We also anticipate booster shots will be approved Sept 20th or there about for patients who received 2 doses of mRNA vaccine 8 months prior. We will have the capacity to offer those boosters at that time.
Currently boosters are approved for immunocompromised patients. We will immunize our patients if they do not receive the booster from their specialist but will not be able to give boosters to immunocompromised adults at this time. Check back in the next week or so if you are unable to get vaccinated with your doctor.
Read more about making a vaccine appointment HERE
FLU VACCINES: 6mo to adults
We are awaiting our shipments and will begin with SAME DAY ON-LINE APPOINTMENTS on SEPT 9th
Because of covid testing FLU CLINIC HOURS WILL BE M-F 8:30am to noon and 2:00 to 5:00pm. We will also give flu vaccines at regular appointments. Flu and Covid vaccines can be given at the same time, however unless it is at a regularly scheduled appointment you must call and be added to the Covid vaccine schedule, at which time we will also give a flu shot. You cannot come in for a flu shot and add a Covid vaccine without scheduling it first.
The process will be the same as last year. We will administer vaccines in the well waiting room – wait outside – one family in at a time – no exposures, quick and efficient. We will vaccinate parents and caretakers for $25 cash.
Read more about the process HERE
SICK VOLUMES, TELEMEDICINE:
To protect you and our staff once again we are not currently seeing sick patients (respiratory symptoms, fever, etc) in the office. Instead, we are using phone triage and telemedicine (read about telemedicine and the Anytime Pediatrics app HERE). If the provider needs to do an exam or order any tests, they will discuss it with you and do so outside at a designated time.
Thank you for your patience during this extraordinary volume of viral illness, covid 19 concerns, school exposures and mental health concerns. We are seeing viral illness usually seen in the winter – bronchiolitis, RSV, coxsackie (hand, foot, and mouth), sniffles, sore throats, cough, etc. Not everything, in fact most is not Covid 19, but some is and we empathize with the concerns you have. Sorting through who needs what is a challenge!
Minor symptoms – no known Covid 19 exposure: Symptomatic care, check website for home care advice, call if symptoms worsen.
Worrisome symptoms – such as respiratory distress, worsening cough, dehydration. Call for telemedicine visit. Exam/testing after telemedicine.
Covid exposure – no symptoms- Vaccinated – test day 3-5 No quarantine. Unvaccinated – test day 5-7 to end quarantine after 7 days, if no test quarantine ends after 10 days.
Covid exposure – symptoms: Call for a telemedicine visit to discuss and plan testing.
We are utilizing all staff and doctors to answer calls and messages. The volume is unprecedented, and we thank you for your support, understanding and patience. We strive to give each of you the care you deserve and expect. Read more about office changes due to Covid HERE
COVID (and FLU) TESTING:
We offer the Quidel Sofia rapid covid antigen test. It is not as accurate as a PCR test but is very reliable when the prevalence of covid is as high as it is now in the community. If an antigen test is positive we do not recommend further testing. We do not test anyone who has had a positive test in the previous 90 days. When flu begins circulating this year we will also do tests for Flu A and Flu B. The test is most accurate when the level of flu, as reported from surveillance testing is high in Georgia. We anticipate an early season and recommend vaccine in September and October when it becomes available.
Who and when:
Exposure (no mask, less than 6 feet, more than 15 minutes) with NO symptoms – test day 5-7; can call to make an appointment for testing only. If negative quarantine ends after 7 days. If do not test quarantine ends 10 days after an exposure. If positive – isolation for 10 days and supportive care.
Exposure with symptoms – call for a telemedicine visit before any testing is scheduled.
No exposure – mild symptoms – more common to be other viral illness. Home care for a few days. If persists or worsens call for a telemedicine visit. Doctor may or may not order a test.
No exposure – moderate symptoms – call to schedule a telemedicine visit.
We test daily at 12:45, outside on the front porch. Results are called usually within 30 minutes. Letters, if needed can be sent to the portal. You must call to be scheduled for a test. We DO NOT do walk up covid tests.
We will continue to update as we make it together through the fall. Please continue to practice social distancing , good handwashing, and wear a mask. We are also happy to talk about any covid vaccine hesitancy – vaccines continue to be the best defense we have against this virus.
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