Covid-19 VACCINE Update and misc. November 18th.   Covid-19 vaccine is coming

1) I am really excited about the vaccine data that has come out. Two different vaccines, first one to be distributed by Pfizer from a German company. Great results, 90% effective, 2 shots 3 weeks apart, but needs to be kept really cold (minus 60 F), so only suitable for large medical center use?
2) Second vaccine, by Moderna, is 95% effective (and no serious cases among the few who got vaccine and Covid-19) and can last 30 days in a regular medical refrigerator (like mine!).
3) Vaccines will probably begin to be available in December or January and more information will follow. Other vaccines are also being tested and it is likely one or more will be successful giving us even a wider set of choices.
4) Both vaccines were effective in seniors and younger people. The use of these vaccines (two shots, 3 weeks apart) by as many people as we can inject, will break this epidemic. This requires younger people to take it (even though their risk of serious illness is low) to stop the spread and allow all of us to resume normal life by next Winter.
5) I encourage all my patients to put aside their prejudices and politics and get a flu shot this year. Regardless of age or health unless you have had a serious side effect/ reaction to a flu vaccine in the past.
6) I urge all my patients to get the Covid vaccine when it becomes available for your age/risk group. I am speculating that the order of vaccination priority will be
healthcare front line first, healthcare remainder second, nursing home next, 75 and above or high risk third, and then 65 and above, going downwards towards the healthier folks… who are also the most active and the highest risk of being spreaders.
7) Public health officials could decide to pick a different order. To reduce spread faster, you would actually pick those in healthcare, essential workers, those that travel, those that spend significant time outside the home, poorer, etc. and then those at home who are typically older or work-from-home professionals.
8) I want to remind patients who get blood tests—labs use testing chemicals that interact with biotin. If you take any supplements containing biotin, avoid them for at least a week before lab testing.
9) I think all of you know this by now, but my practice will be out of network for Anthem Blue Cross PPO starting Jan.1. This does not affect Medicare patients. If you have questions, call or write us.
10) Happy Thanksgiving  and stay safe. The next few months will have a lot of disease in California and we need to flatten the curve again so that hospitals and ICU’s will be there if we need them.
We are all in this together.

David Schechter, M.D.