Our member Dr. Hannah Shelton of Advocate Direct Care put together this informative update on COVID-19 and vaccinations. Her office has been approved to administer vaccine and is waiting to receive an allocation.
- Texas opened COVID-19 vaccinations to all adults on March 29th. Adults over 80 and “high risk individuals” will still be prioritized. The Pfizer vaccination is available for ages 16 yo and older.
- There will be a new website launched for registration. The public will be able to enroll in theTexas Public Health Vaccine Scheduler to identify upcoming vaccine clinics hosted by DSHS or a participating local health department and be notified when new clinics and appointments become available. People can continue to find additional providers though the DSHS Vaccine Information page at dshs.texas.gov/covidvaccine.
- To date, Texas has administered more than 9.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, equating to more than 6 million people with at least one dose and more than 3 million fully vaccinated. 10-
- 15% of Texans are reported fully vaccinated.
- Pfizer and Moderna vaccines (2 shot series, mRNA) have about the same safety and 95% efficacy. Johnson & Johnson (1 shot only) has around a 72% efficacy in the US but has shown good data to prevent serious disease. All 3 vaccines have no “COVID” reported deaths in trials. More side effects have been reported after the second dose. A person is considered “fully vaccinated” 2 weeks after the last shot in a series.
- Known variants are B.1.1.7 “British variant” also seen in the US. B.1.351 “South African variant” and P.1 “Brazilian variant”. All have a higher mortality. All approved US vaccines seem to have good efficacy against the B.1.1.7 variant. More data needs to be collected on the others.
- Amongst all intramuscularly administered injections, soreness at the injection site (shoulder/arm), and local skin reactions are commonly reported, with most resolving on their own. “Moderna arm” usually resolves within 4-5 days and can recur with the 2 nd dose but is not considered problematic. There have been 20 cases of thrombocytopenia (9 Pfizer, 11 Moderna).One death from cerebral hemorrhage (physician, Florida). An allergic response to polyethylene glycol, a component of the mRNA vaccines (also an ingredient in MiraLAX), has been reported in some cases.
- Do not premedicate with NSAIDS or steroids as it may decrease immune response to vaccine and could alter presentation of allergy.
Each of our member physicians can provide specific guidance to their patients about the COVID-19 vaccination. Visit our Doctors page to find a physician near you!