Spring is in the air. After a long dark winter, it is lovely to have longer daylight hours and warmer days. With the start of the new season, we have so much to be happy and grateful for in our communities.
> COVID VACCINE FOR 16 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER
We are so excited to hear the news! On April 1st, the State opened up vaccine administration to include individuals 16 years of age and older. The only vaccine to date for young people 16 years of age or older is the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is given in 2 doses separated by 21 days. If your child has received the vaccine, please give us a copy of the vaccine administration dates in order for us to enter it into their immunization chart.
The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine are recommended for individuals 18 years of age and older. We have heard of out-of-state college students receiving the vaccine. Please have them send us the vaccine administration dates in order for us to enter them into their immunization chart. The Moderna vaccine requires 2 doses separated by 28 days. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single dose.
APRIL 13, 2021: The Jansen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine administration is on HOLD due to reports of a possible association with blood clots in six women. The FDA is investigating and will release a statement.
> SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS
CO-ADMINISTRATION WITH OTHER VACCINES
If your teen is due for vaccines, please let us know if they have received the COVID-19 vaccine. It is currently recommended that the COVID-19 vaccine be administered alone with a minimum of 14 days before or after administration of other vaccines.
POST COVID INFECTION AND VACCINATION
Many parents are interested in getting their eligible teenager vaccinated. Some of these teens have been infected during this past year with COVID. It is recommended that individuals who had a previous COVID infection get vaccinated. It is safe to get the vaccine post infection. As per the CDC, if an individual is actively ill with COVID, they should defer getting the vaccine. Once they have recovered from the acute illness and have met the criteria to discontinue isolation, they can receive the vaccine. In reviewing Yale’s pre-vaccine screening questions, they recommend 4 weeks to have passed since the COVID infection, in order to schedule and receive the vaccine.
The CDC did include the following statement: “While there is no recommended minimum interval between infection and vaccination, current evidence suggests that the risk of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection is low in the months after initial infection but may increase with time due to waning immunity. Thus, while vaccine supply remains limited, people with recent documented acute SARS-CoV-2 infection may choose to temporarily delay vaccination.”
PATIENTS WITH ALLERGIES REQUIRING EPINEPHRINE
The most recent information provided by the CDC states individuals that have severe allergies to food, pet, venom, environmental or latex, can get vaccinated. People with a history of allergies to oral medications or a family history of severe allergic reactions may also get vaccinated. Those individuals that are allergic to any ingredient found in the vaccine should avoid that particular vaccine. Those individuals allergic to Polyethylene glycol (PEG) and polysorbate are recommended to use caution. PEG is an ingredient in the mRNA vaccines, and polysorbate is an ingredient in the Johnson&Johnson/Janssen vaccine.
If your child is allergic to PEG, they should not get an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine such as Pfizer and Moderna.
If your child is allergic to polysorbate, they should not get the Johnson&Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.
If your child has had an immediate allergic reaction—even if it was not severe—to a vaccine or injectable therapy for another disease, please discuss with us if your child should get a COVID-19 vaccine. An allergic reaction requires the use of Benadryl and/or epinephrine. Localized reactions such as redness, swelling, pain at the injection site does not constitute an allergic reaction.
> STUDIES ON YOUNGER KIDS
HOORAY!! Phase 3 studies have been completed for the Pfizer vaccine in 12 to 15 year old children. The data is promising. Pfizer will be submitting the study information and data to the FDA for review. Moderna has current studies underway for 12 to 15 year olds. Both Pfzier and Moderna will be starting studies for children 6 months to 11 years of age. One such study will be centered at Yale. They will be looking for volunteers. If you are interested, please let us know. We will send out the informational flier once it is available.
> FULLY VACCINATED AND READY TO GO
Once a person is fully vaccinated, they will need to take precautions in public places like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces until we know more. We need to take precautions because not everyone is vaccinated. We still need patience to see this crisis through. There are new PERKS though, such as:
- You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask.
- You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
- If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms.
> WHERE DO I LOOK TO GET THE VACCINE:
We are so lucky to have the phases opened up to include all those individuals 16 years of age and older. The challenging part is finding where can you get the vaccine. Here are some resources:
> SUMMER PHYSICAL EXAMS AND FORMS
Summer will be here before we know it. For many, this is the time for your annual physical exams. If you are due for your physical in the summer, it is recommended you book an appointment now. Those coveted times will fill quickly. As always, please access your insurance company if you are unsure about the timing of the physical and the coverage of the visit. If your child will be graduating from high school this June, congratulations! If their plans include going to college in the Fall, please bring in all college forms to their appointment. We will be happy to fill them out at that time. Each college and university has different requirements prior to enrollment. It is recommended you review their requirements and plan accordingly. Summer camps are part of the season for many children. Hopefully, more camps and special programs will be available this year. Part of registration may require submitting an up-to-date physical exam form. If you have had your physical already, please see if they will accept a copy of the completed CT state “ blue form.” Every patient receives, at their physical exam appointments, a completed CT State "blue form." We always advise to keep a copy or scan a copy onto your computer. If you need to have a special form or a college form to be completed outside of the physical exam appointment, please remember we ask for 7-10 days to complete the form. There is a fee for standard and rush form completion.