Parents of Peachtree Park Pediatrics,
We continually strive to provide you with the most up to date information on the COVID-19 pandemic. Read on for more about the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines, changes to international travel policy, returning to in-person school, and more.
- HHS Secretary Alex Azar announced new guidelines from the Trump administration aimed at speeding up the vaccination of as many Americans as soon as possible against COVID-19. The changes involve releasing all available vaccine doses and recommendations to states to vaccinate persons older than 65 as well as adults of all ages with pre-existing conditions, and expanding facilities where vaccinations can be conducted, such as pharmacies and community health centers.
- The Georgia Department of Public Health has a webpage which shows how many doses of each vaccine have been allocated to the state, how many have been shipped and the total vaccines administered:
- DPH also has a link that lets you search for vaccination sites in your community:
Many vaccination sites have been overwhelmed with calls this week as the state expanded eligibility to adults 65 and older.
- Kimberly Manning, an Emory physician known as “Grady Doc” online, provides an excellent summary of how the mRNA COVID vaccines work:
Travelers to the U.S. Need Negative Test
As reported in USA Today, the CDC announced that “travelers flying into the United States from international destinations will be required to show proof of a negative coronavirus test before boarding their flight.”
The policy, which goes into effect on January 26th, requires passengers to have a negative test within 3 days of travel and provide documentation to the airline before boarding their flight.
Those Who Have Recovered from COVID Should Still Get the Vaccine
As reported in the Washington Post, the CDC recommends that individuals who have had COVID-19 should still receive the vaccine.
However, due to the slow pace of immunization efforts, some experts recommend that those with past infection consider deferring immunization, even if eligible, so that the vaccine can be prioritized for people who are unlikely to have any antibodies.
“Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder found that prioritizing people who don’t already have natural immunity could allow health officials to get more impact from limited supplies, especially in areas where many people have already been infected.”
Public Health Emergency Extended
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has extended the public health emergency due to the COVID pandemic until April. The public health emergency declaration was originally scheduled to expire January 21st.
The emergency suspends several federal oversight and reporting requirements; one result is that Telemedicine remains easier and more accessible. PPP offers telemedicine appointments in the afternoon, which may be appropriate to follow chronic conditions such as ADHD, depression, or asthma.
Infection May Produce Immunity for Five Months or More
CNN reports on a U.K. study which showed those with a prior infection had an 83% lower risk of a new infection over 5 months compared to those who never had COVID-19.
The study is ongoing to look at how long this protection lasts.
Studies Continue to Show Low Risk of In-person School
The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy and the University of Minnesota reports on 3 recent studies indicating that in-person school has a low risk of spreading infection.
The authors of one of the studies wrote that “mitigation policies such as masking, physical distancing, and hand hygiene, resulted in minimal clusters of (COVID-19) infection and low rates of secondary transmission in schools, and did not cause a larger community infection burden. Our data indicate that schools can reopen safely if they develop and adhere to specific (COVID-19) prevention policies.”
A Norwegian study also showed that transmission between children under 14 years old was minimal in school settings, even if there was high disease prevalence in the community.
In contrast, HealthDay reports on a recent study showing that “U.S. colleges could be COVID-19 superspreader sites, and the first two weeks of classes are the most dangerous.”
As college students return to campus, remind them to remain vigilant, especially when reconnecting with friends after the holiday break.
Is it Safe for Grandparents to Visit Once they have been Vaccinated?
CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen addresses the questions that grandparents may ask once they have been vaccinated.
Since the vaccine is not 100% effective and we don’t yet know if vaccinated individuals can by asymptomatic carriers of the virus, the safer course is for limited grandparent visits until everyone in the house has been vaccinated.
Sesame Street Fans May Enjoy this Video
Elmo’s mom, Mae, shares what has helped her family stay happy and healthy during the pandemic.
We encourage everyone to continue to use good hand hygiene and practice social distancing as much as possible. Please contact our office with any further questions or concerns.
Peachtree Park Pediatrics
For reliable, up-to-date information about COVID-19, visit:
Peachtree Park Pediatrics strives to deliver up-to-date primary care to our infant, child, and young adult patients in a welcoming and family-friendly environment. The practice has deep roots in the Atlanta community, and it is our continued honor to be entrusted with the health care of our next generation.