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 some important changes you can expect to see around the office, the latest vaccine updates, updated mask recommendations from the CDC, and more.
Procedures to Keep Families Safe at PPP
As the number of COVID infections in our community has increased recently, PPP has returned to some of the changes in procedure and flow that were instituted early in the pandemic to keep doctors, staff, patients and family safe.
The next month is typically very busy as everyone gets ready to return to school. This year we are seeing many more respiratory illnesses than in a typical Summer.
Please keep the following in mind as you plan your visit to our office:
- To limit crowding in the Waiting Room, hallways and Exam Rooms, please bring only the patient to the visit. If possible, leave siblings, grandparents and others at home or outside in the car.
- Follow the green signs to exit the office at the end of the hallways rather than through the Waiting Room. If the Clinical Staff is unable to schedule the follow-up visit or next check-up, please call to speak with our Front Desk staff by phone.
- While teens are spending confidential time with the physician, parents should go to the building lobby or their car, rather than sit in the Waiting Room.
- While waiting on the results of in-office tests we may ask you to go to your car so that we can clean the Exam Room and move another family out of the Waiting Room.
CDC to Encourage Mask Wearing in Schools
President Biden said recently that the CDC would likely issue guidance encouraging children who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus to wear masks in schools.
“Biden suggested that enforcing the guidance would be difficult but that it would be a ‘community responsibility.’
‘It’s a matter of community responsibility and I think you’re going to see it work through,’ Biden said.”
Pfizer Vaccine May Offer Better Protection Against Delta Variant
An earlier study from Israel indicated that the Pfizer vaccine, while continuing to be effective in preventing significant illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19, was only 65% protective against mild cases.
The Washington Post reports that “two doses of the Pfizer vaccine offer 88 percent protection against symptomatic disease caused by the delta variant, compared to 94 percent against the alpha variant that was first discovered in Britain and became dominant across the globe earlier this year.”
Mask Rules Returning in Some Areas
CNBC reports that “local officials across the country are pleading with Americans to once again wear masks inside as the delta variant rips through the U.S.”
School Mask Policies Vary in Atlanta
“CBS46 has compiled a list of mask policies for the 10 largest school districts around the Atlanta area.”
Breakthrough Infections After Vaccination
According to the AP, “reports of athletes, lawmakers and others getting the coronavirus despite vaccination may sound alarming but top health experts point to overwhelming evidence that the shots are doing exactly what they are supposed to: dramatically reducing severe illness and death.”
“The best indicator: U.S. hospitalizations and deaths are nearly all among the unvaccinated, and real-world data from Britain and Israel support that protection against the worst cases remains strong. What scientists call ‘breakthrough’ infections in people who are fully vaccinated make up a small fraction of cases.
‘When you hear about a breakthrough infection, that doesn’t necessarily mean the vaccine is failing,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told a Senate panel recently. The shots are holding up, he said, even in the face of the highly contagious delta variant that is burning through unvaccinated communities.”
U.S. Public Health Emergency Renewed
As recently reported by CNN, HHS recently renewed the determination that the public health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic remains in effect.
“A public health emergency declaration, which can last for the duration of the emergency or 90 days, allows for the emergency use authorization of vaccines, the access of certain funds to address the emergency, and the deployment of military trauma care providers, among other factors.”
‘There are a lot of things tied to that public health emergency order, including it helps states and local jurisdictions with the pandemic response, but it can be impactful to other forms of assistance like Medicaid eligibility coverage provisions that were changed under the declaration of a public health emergency order,’ said the CEO of the National Association of City and County Health Officials. ‘If an emergency order is lifted, some people could no longer be eligible for some of the health-related coverages that they had gotten under the emergency.’”
Mitch McConnell Urges Vaccination
The AP reports that “Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell implored unvaccinated Americans to take the COVID-19 shot, issuing a stark and grave warning of a repeat of last year’s rising caseloads and shutdowns if people refuse to protect themselves from the coronavirus.”
“McConnell urged Americans to ignore the ‘demonstrably bad advice’ coming from pundits and others against the vaccines. As cases skyrocket, he noted that nearly all the new virus hospitalizations in the U.S. are among people who have not been vaccinated.
‘If there is anybody out there willing to listen: Get vaccinated,’ McConnell said.”
CDC Reaffirms Benefit of J & J Vaccine Amid Reports of Rare Neurological Side Effect
As reported by Reuters, the CDC recently affirmed that the benefits of the J&J vaccine outweigh the risks.
“Despite reports of a rare neurological disorder appearing in some people who have received Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, the benefits of its use outweigh the risks, a CDC advisory panel said recently.”
“The CDC advisory panel evaluated the J&J vaccine’s risks and benefits after these preliminary reports of Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) from people who have gotten the shot.”
Decrease in Prescriptions for Children During the Pandemic
UPI reports on a study showing that “the number of medications prescribed for children dropped by more than 25% during the first eight months of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.”
“The steepest declines were seen in antibiotics prescribed for infections, as well as for ‘cough-and-cold drugs,’ the researchers said. “Antibiotic prescriptions for children and teens fell by nearly 56%.
‘The decline in the number of children receiving antibiotics is consistent with the large decreases in infection-related pediatric visits during 2020,’” said the study co-author.
Study Shows No COVID-19 Spread on the School Bus
UPI reports on a recent study showing that “universal masking, social distancing and ‘simple’ ventilation techniques prevented COVID-19 spread among students on school buses in a region with high levels of community transmission.”
“’With more students returning to face-to-face instruction, safe transportation to school is an equity issue, as many families are unable to drive their children to school each day. We hope … our data can be of assistance in demonstrating that school buses can safely operate at normal capacity even at high community COVID-19 caseloads,’ said the study’s author.
Doctors, Nurses and Hospitals Urge Vaccination
“The leading U.S. professional groups for hospitals, doctors and nurses are using a new public service announcement to urge Americans to ‘follow the science’ and get vaccinated against COVID-19, one of the latest efforts to curb the virus amid concerns on vaccine misinformation.”
“The American Hospital Association, American Medical Association and American Nurses Association recently released a PSA in which leaders of each of the groups tell audiences to ‘ask questions, follow the science and get vaccinated.’”
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.