Mondays With your MD – New Covid Vaccine: Bivalent Boosters

2022-09-25T19:22:53+00:00September 24th, 2022|Community, Coronavirus, Family Practice, Health Care, Pandemic, Public Health, Vaccine|

The new bivalent booster offers better protection against recently circulating COVID-19 variants and helps restore waning protection from previous vaccination. It offers broader protection for new variants. People must complete the primary series (original monovalent vaccines) before getting a bivalent booster dose.

covid-19-booster

Who should get the new booster?

  • People 12 years and older should receive the updated Pfizer or Moderna (bivalent booster)
    This includes people who have received all primary series doses and people who have received the original (monovalent) boosters
  • At this time children ages 12-17 years can only receive the updated Pfizer bivalent booster.
  • Children under 12 years do not get a bivalent booster yet.

What is considered “Up to Date” with all these boosters?

Once you have completed the covid-19 vaccine primary series and received he most recent booster dose that is recommended

When should I get the new booster? Which brand should I get?

The new bivalent booster can be given at least 2 months or more after your last COVID vaccine. The monovalent booster should no longer be given to anyone 12 years of age and older.


It is fine to get a booster from a different brand than the primary series or previous boosters. For example, if your primary series was Moderna you can get the Pfizer bivalent booster.

What about kids under 12 years old?

At this time, children under 12 years old will NOT receive the new bivalent booster dose although this is likely to change in the future.

Children 5 years – 11 years who received Pfizer for their primary series should still get a monovalent booster 5 months after the last dose of the primary series.

Children 5 years – 11 years who got Moderna for their primary series do not get a booster at this time.

Children 6 months – 4 years should get all COVID-19 vaccination primary series doses.

At Roots Health DPC we help our patients navigate the ever-changing COVID-19 guidelines around
testing, treatment, and prevention. Set up a FREE “Meet and Greet” with Dr Diaz today.

 

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    Mondays with your MD – Covid … Again? What you need to know

    2022-09-12T18:57:23+00:00September 12th, 2022|Community, Coronavirus, Covid-19 Testing, Pandemic, Public Health, Vaccine|

    There seem to be more cases of COVID circulating in our community now… so I thought I would share the most common questions and concerns I hear from patients.

    My family member has COVID. How often do I need to test myself?

    • If you develop symptoms it is recommended to test immediately.
    • If you have symptoms and your rapid test is negative it is recommended you obtain a PCR test.
    • If you do not have symptoms, you should wait at least 5 days after your exposure to do testing.
    • If you are vaccinated and do not have symptoms you do not need to isolate before testing.

    Can I really get COVID again? I already had it.

    Yes. Everyone 12 years of age and older can receive an updated COVID booster which targets the new COVID variants. Although your disease may not be as severe, you can still catch COVID and pass it to others who may be more vulnerable.

    My COVID test is positive… still.

    Some patients believe they need a negative test to return to work. The truth is that once you have a positive test there is no reason to repeat a test. The isolation period is 5 days and can last up to 10 days depending on the severity of your illness. If your isolation ends on day 5, you should intentionally wear a mask whenever you go in public until the full 10 days has elapsed.

    What is Paxlovid and does it work?

    Paxlovid is one of the medications used to treat COVID. It is highly recommended for those at risk for disease progression and it significantly decreases the severity of the disease. Do not delay seeking care as this treatment must be started within days of when you first develop symptoms to be effective.

    When you have questions about urgent health concerns, you want accessible advice from your physician. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just text your doctor and ask? At Roots Health DPC that is how we provide medical care! We are available to our patients by phone, email, and text anytime. Schedule a FREE “Meet and Greet” at Roots Health DPC to find out more.


    Free Meet & GREET

     

    We are now accepting new patients and would love the privilege of serving you in our clinic.

    Resuming COVID-19 Testing

    2022-01-11T14:40:34+00:00January 9th, 2022|Adults, Coronavirus, Covid-19 Testing, Families, Pandemic, Uncategorized|

    >> CLICK HERE TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT <<

    As the number of COVID cases again increases, we are aware that reliable testing has become difficult to obtain. At Roots Health DPC, we have chosen to resume COVID testing for the community to ensure everyone who needs a test has access. We offer PCR testing (and rapid testing for those with symptoms as well). This service continues to be available and free of charge for our members. We will now make it available to the public (non-members) with discounted pricing for testing of families. We remain committed to the health of our community.

    Circling back: The Pandemic. Navigating Your Health Today.

    2021-08-31T13:59:18+00:00August 31st, 2021|Adults, Coronavirus, Covid-19 Testing, Membership, Pandemic, Vaccine|

    As the Delta strain sweeps across our country many of the measures to prevent spread are being reinstated. Most would agree, whenever we make progress in life, it is usually “2 steps forward and one step back.” Dealing with a novel coronavirus is no different.

    The vaccines have been highly effective. They continue to give vaccinated persons protection by keeping vaccinated individuals out of the hospitals as this more virulent Delta variant spreads. This is witnessed across the country where the hospitalizations and deaths are afflicting the unvaccinated population heavily.

    As the Delta variant continues to circulate and cases climb, we now know that vaccinated individuals can transmit the Delta variant to unvaccinated. We must again choose to protect our most vulnerable by wearing masks in public spaces, avoiding large indoor gatherings, spacing 6 feet, and getting tested. This time around, Covid testing is more widely available and there are rapid tests that can be done in the comfort of your own home.

    I recommend Bimax now Antigen test, but would like to make you aware of the rapid testing limitations. The test works well if you have symptoms and it is a positive result. However, if you have been exposed you will need a PCR test 4-5days after exposure. If you have symptoms and a negative rapid test result you will also require a PCR test.

    Our patients at Roots Health DPC are able to obtain PCR testing when they need it and it is sent to the lab for results. More importantly, each individual receives personalized and specific recommendations for their unique situation. Can you imagine navigating covid without a board-certified physician available to answer questions?

    As with anything difficult, we can always find a silver-lining… and we must if we want to continue to grow and improve. The pandemic has made the case … we all deserve better health care. The foundation for improved health outcomes lies in the rebuilding of a solid physician-patient relationship and unlimited access to your physician when you need it. How we get through it all… will always depend on… who we get through it all with.

    COVID 19 VACCINE: Where do I sign up?

    2021-05-08T12:35:19+00:00February 4th, 2021|Adults, Community, Coronavirus, Pandemic, Vaccine|

    COVID VACCINE INFORMATION.

    Illinois entered phase 1b for vaccinations at the end of FEB
    INCLUDES 65+ AND OVER, FIRST RESPONDERS, EDUCATION WORKERS LIKE TEACHERS AND SUPPORT STAFF, CHILDCARE WORKERS, GROCERY STORE EMPLOYEES, POSTAL SERVICE WORKERS, AND MORE.

    If you are unsure if you are in Tier 1B, please *SEE COMPLETE LIST BELOW from IDPH website.

    We know many of you desire vaccination but are unable to obtain an appointment. This is slowly improving and we will update the following information as available. For now, we have compiled a list of the places where you can sign up and check for an appointment.

    New IDPH Vaccine Appointment Call Center
    The Illinois Department of Public Health launched a Call Center to help bridge technology barriers and assist with vaccine appointments. It is to help assist people who do not have access to or who have difficulty navigating online services in making appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
    – The Vaccine Appointment Call Center is open 7 days a week, 6am-midnight.
    – The phone number is 833-621-1284.
    – There are approximately 500 agents answering calls with the ability to expand during peak periods. The call center has English and Spanish speaking call agents with the availability for translation into other languages.

    Vaccine Finder
    https://vaccinefinder.org/
    – The Vaccine Finder website allows you search for Vaccine Providers by zip code across the country
    – It will state if that location has vaccine in stock or not and direct you towards registering for appt

    ZocDoc Appointment finder
    https://www.zocdoc.com/vaccine/
    – This is an additional way to schedule vaccine appointments through participating providers by Zip Code

    Walgreens has opened limited vaccination appointments through this link
    https://www.walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid-19

    Albertson’s Companies including Jewel have opened limited vaccination appointments through this link
    https://mhealthappointments.com/covidappt

    IL Department of Public Health (ILDPH) at the following link
    https://covidvaccination.dph.illinois.gov/

    Cook County COVID-19 Community Vaccination Program
    https://vaccine.cookcountyil.gov/

    If you have a provider at a local medical center, we recommend you call them to determine when the vaccine will be available for you. If you are a Loyola or PCC Wellness patient this may already be available to you through your medical center.

    Roots Health DPC does not have access to the vaccine, but we are working on partnering with local community organizations to ensure access.

    Please note: after vaccination we will still need to practice social distancing and wearing masks. A vaccine that is 95% effective means that about 1 out of 20 people who get it may not have protection from getting the illness.

     

    *LIST OF TIER 1B CANDIDATES (per IDPH guidelines)
    Phase 1B:

    Persons aged 65 years and older
    Frontline essential workers, are defined as those workers who are essential for the functioning of society and are at highest risk of exposure, including the following:
    First responders: Firefighters (including volunteers), Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs), 911 Dispatch (Public Safety Answering Point – PSAP), Security Personnel, School Officers. (EMS personnel are considered under Phase 1a).
    Corrections Officers/Inmates: Jail Officers, Juvenile Facility Staff, Workers Providing In-Person Support, Inmates.
    Food and Agriculture Workers: Processing, Plants, Veterinary Health, Livestock Services, Animal Care.
    Postal Service Workers
    Manufacturing Workers: Industrial production of goods for distribution to retail, wholesale or other manufacturers.
    Grocery Store Workers: Baggers, Cashiers, Stockers, Pick-Up, Customer Service.
    Public Transit Workers: Flight Crew, Bus Drivers, Train Conductors, Taxi Drivers, Para-Transit Drivers, In-Person Support, Ride Sharing Services.
    Education Workers (Congregate Child Care, Pre-K through 12th grade): Teachers, Principals, Student Support, Student Aids, Day Care Workers.
    Shelters/Adult Day Care: Homeless Shelter, Women’s Shelter, Adult Day/Drop-In Program, Sheltered Workshop, Psycho-Social Rehab.

    COVID-19 TESTING – Education and Information

    2021-05-08T12:49:53+00:00December 13th, 2020|Adults, Community, Coronavirus, Covid-19 Testing, Families, Pandemic|

     

    EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO KEEP YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES SAFE

    We all want quick COVID test results, understandably. But what we need are accurate results.  The worst-case scenario for my patients would be a false sense of security from a negative test when they, in fact, have COVID-19 and could harm the ones they love.  This is why public education around testing and results is so important.

    At Roots Health DPC, we are committed to sharing information about COVID testing so that you can make informed decisions regarding testing and results.  Not all tests are created equal.  Below, we review what tests are used to detect whether someone has an active COVID infection, when additional testing might be necessary, and best practices for our patients when it comes to “rapid testing.”  

    Types of COVID-19 Testing:

    The most accurate, “gold standard” test for clinical diagnostic detection of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) is Real-Time Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) more commonly known as “PCR testing”.  Other tests are available and include rapid point-of-care (POC) molecular test and the POC antigen tests.  POC tests, commonly known as “rapid tests,” have a higher probability of missing an active infection and it may be necessary to confirm rapid negative test results with a PCR test.

    When might it be necessary to confirm a negative rapid test result with a PCR test?

    In certain instances, a negative test result in a rapid test should be followed up by a PCR test.  For example, if the result of the rapid POC test is inconsistent with the patient’s symptoms.  In other words, if a patient has active COVID symptoms but receives a negative result, that person should proceed to PCR testing.

    There are other instances when it is recommended to proceed to PCR confirmation of a negative rapid test.  For example, when you have been exposed to a known positive case for more than 15 minutes within 6 feet it is recommended to obtain testing.  If your rapid test is negative, PCR confirmation would be best practice.   

    Given what we know about the decreased accuracy of rapid testing, what are the most appropriate uses for rapid testing? 

    Rapid testing is extremely useful when it is positive.  However, it will not change the plan for the patient.  Patients who are symptomatic and positive will be instructed to isolate for a minimum of 10 days from the onset of symptoms while they are contagious to others.  Patients who are asymptomatic but have had a “close contact” exposure will be instructed to quarantine for 14 days from the date of exposure.   

    Rapid testing may be an appropriate test for those who have no symptoms and no exposure.  For example, some people are required to obtain a negative COVID-19 test prior to travel.    

    Roots Health DPC is committed to providing accurate COVID-19 testing information to you and your loved ones.

    There are many different tests being offered with a constantly changing landscape of locations and availability.  We understand that this can be overwhelming. It is our hope that this resource can help you navigate what type of test is best for you and your loved ones.  Wherever you choose to test, please makes sure you know what type of test is being offered and have your questions answered before testing.  

    At Roots Health DPC, we currently offer PCR testing with a return time of 48-72 hours.  All persons who test with Roots Health DPC are provided relevant and clear CDC recommendations including information on what to do while waiting for your test result, understanding the difference between quarantine and isolation, understanding how to manage COVID-19 symptoms at home, and learning how best to prevent the spread in your home if you have COVID-19.

    If we can be of service or answer any questions, please feel free to reach out to us directly at 708-613-7916.  

    >>Click here to schedule a COVID-19 test<<

    >>LEARN MORE ABOUT ROOTS HEALTH DPC<<

    covid-CDC-testing-chart

    COVID 19 Timeline Information

    2021-05-08T12:54:48+00:00November 9th, 2020|Adults, Community, Coronavirus, Family Medicine, Family Practice, Pandemic|

    The disease that is caused by the SARS CoV2 virus presents and transmits like many other respiratory viruses which makes it difficult to identify and contain.  I would like to provide information about the period from when someone is exposed to the SARS CoV2 virus, when they are infectious, and when they are most likely to have a positive test.

    The graph above illustrates the timeline of COVID-19 illness after exposure.

    Incubation period is the estimated amount of time it may take for someone to develop COVID-19 after exposure. Right now, for adults it is about 2-14 days. This is why we use the 14 day guideline for close-contact quarantine period.

    Studies show that PCR tests for coronavirus can detect up to 98% of cases by day 7-8 after exposure.

    Infectious period is when you are contagious after exposure to the virus. Most respiratory viruses have an infectious period of about 48hrs before symptoms develop.  Anyone that has been in contact with someone with COVID-19 48hrs before that person’s symptoms began should quarantine for 14 days. The end of the infectious period can vary, but is defined as being fever free for at least 24 hours AND 10 days from symptom onset.

    The local health department contact tracers are not able to reach out to every person (roughly 50% of people are being contacted who have been exposed). This is why it is important for the general public to know these guidelines so we can appropriately notify our potential close contacts to help mitigate the spread.

    Be well, everyone. Stay diligent… wear a mask, wash hands, social distance and try (if possible) to keep interactions with folks brief. This will reduce your risk of transmission, and also your chance of needing to quarantine.

    Dr Natasha Diaz

    No waiting. Healthcare delivered when you need it.