As we are approaching the end of the year alongside the coronavirus pandemic, we want to provide you with the most current and relevant information regarding the virus. The WHO has recently estimated that 10% of the world's population has been infected.
Please note, out of an abundance of caution to other patients and staff and providers to make sure there’s no possibility of exposure; we do have a mandatory two-week wait for patient visits after travel. Extremely frequent cleaning of rooms and items, as well as increased handwashing, is still in effect. Additionally, we will continue checking the temperatures of every individual that comes to the office. Continuous use of masks when we are in the presence of patient contact opportunities. No exceptions.
Update on Potential Vaccines:
Vaccines: A vaccine is a biological preparation that provides active acquired immunity to a particular infectious disease. There are several different “biological preparations” being actively investigated to provide the active immune response to Coronavirus. A special committee that includes physicians, specialists in infectious disease, public health and vaccines was convened earlier this year at the request of the CDC and NIH to determine how best to distribute any vaccine that may become available. It has recommended a phased approach to vaccine administration. The first phase, 1a, would cover about 5% of the population and includes frontline healthcare workers such as those in hospitals and nursing homes as well as first responders. The next phase, 1b, would cover about 10% of the population and include people with health conditions that would put them at risk for increased complications of the disease. This would also include people over age 65 who live in settings such as nursing homes and long-term care facilities as well as people in homeless shelters and prisons. In phase 2, an additional 30 to 35% would be vaccinated and this would include teachers, childcare workers and workers in high risk settings who cannot avoid risk of exposure to the virus such as food supply workers and public transit. In phase 3, young adults, children and workers in colleges and hotels would be encouraged to get the vaccine. Finally, phase 4 would make it available to the general public. The committee recommends that the vaccine be free to all and the federal government is planning to purchase 300 million doses. I think it is a distinct possibility that a vaccine will become available in the first 2 months of 2021.