Regarding the ongoing Coronavirus situation, we wanted to reassure you that we are doing all we can to keep all our patients safe and healthy.
As of now, all appointments are being kept as scheduled, however we understand if you would rather reschedule non-urgent office visits. We would like to recommend that only one parent/guardian attend the appointment and try to avoid bringing additional children into the office.
We have increased our cleaning and sanitizing protocols in all patient care areas.
Effective 3/19/20 we are now mandating that all patients wait in their car for their appointment, simply call the office and push option #3 for appointments, then choose the office you're checking in to when you have arrived and provide us the best number to call you back at when we are ready to see your child.
As always, should you have any questions or concerns during this time, please do not hesitate to call the office. We have provided helpful links below, if you have any questions related to this information, please let us know.
From the Columbia University Department of Pediatrics:
Why should a patient get vaccinated?
• To protect themselves, their families, their community, and help end the pandemic.
Who is eligible?
• Currently authorized for ages 12+ (Pfizer) and 18+ (Moderna, J&J).
• Free and available to everyone – patients do not need insurance, immigration papers, social security number, or ID.
Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe and effective?
• The vaccines were studied in tens of thousands of people.
• More than 100 million Americans have received a vaccine, including the president and vice president, movie stars, etc., and all are fine!
Is COVID-19 preventable with the vaccines?
• COVID-19 vaccines are very effective in preventing disease (especially severe disease and death). Even if you get infected after vaccination it will likely be milder or you won’t have any symptoms.
• To prevent other people in your family from getting COVID-19 it's important to also vaccinate parents/grandparents/babysitters/siblings/everyone.
• Over 580,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 including more than 300 children. With vaccination, death from COVID-19 is preventable!
What are the side effects?
• The most common side effect is a sore arm. Some people may also have redness, rash or swelling where they got the vaccine, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, or nausea, which usually only last a day or two. These are more common after the second dose.
• For J&J: a rare form of blood clot has occurred in a few people who received the vaccine (especially younger people). These are blood clots in the brain, called cerebral vein or cerebral sinus vein thrombosis. Over 7 million J&J vaccines were given, and this clotting problem is VERY RARE. The CDC paused the J&J vaccine to investigate and found that the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks of not getting it. A patient can choose which vaccine to get, so for some patients J&J is not the right choice.
How do the vaccines work?
• The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines use mRNA. The mRNA is like a blueprint to tell your body how to make the "spike" protein, which is on the outside of the COVID-19 virus. The body then makes antibodies to this protein, which protects you when you are exposed to the virus in the future. Neither the mRNA nor the spike protein can make a patient sick with COVID-19. The mRNA is made out the molecules (nucleic acids) that are already in all our cells, and the mRNA then falls apart and is eliminated from the body quickly.
• The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a disabled adenovirus to guide your body to make the same mRNA that is in the other vaccines, which is then used to make the "spike" protein and then the same antibodies to it. Neither the adenovirus nor the spike protein can make you sick.
How were the vaccines made so quickly?
• The COVID-19 vaccine is based on decades of research for similar vaccines.
• Timelines were overlapped to speed-up the process.
• All of the same safety standards and expert reviews were used as in all vaccines.
What about the new variants?
• As viruses spread, they may change - forming new variants.
• Vaccination is our best tool to stop new variants.
• Vaccines will still help protect us against getting really sick from the new variants.
Where can patients get the vaccine?
• Many pharmacies are offering walk-in visits.
• Visit ongov.net for many vaccine clinic opportunities
If your child receives the COVID vaccine, please be sure to mention it at your next visit, as well as bring your vaccination card for us to add to your child's file.
Link to New Pediatric Patient Education site: 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)