In another last minute change, San Diego County has expanded the criteria for eligibility to receive the COVID-19 vaccine starting March 15. In addition to the more stringent criteria listed in my last blog entry, they have now added new criteria listed below. The biggest increase would be for people with hypertension and those who are overweight. If you're not sure if you fall into the overweight category, you can calculate your body mass index online with a BMI calculator or log into your portal to see what your last documented BMI was. In addition, YOU DO NOT NEED A NOTE FROM OUR OFFICE. When you show up for your vaccine appointment, you simply have to confirm that you have one of the eligible conditions. To make an appointment, click on the COVID-19 tab above to see the different ways to access appointments, specifically through the county at www.VaccinationSuperStationSD.com or at individual pharmacies.
Side effects: We encourage everyone to report any side effects to the vaccines through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. If you want to help out even more, you can also sign up for V-safe on your cell phone. This phone-based app will check in with you daily after you receive your vaccine to see how you’re feeling, and it helps us document the various possible side effects the vaccines may have. Just go to vsafe.cdc.gov on your smart phone and follow the prompts. One important thing to know is that NONE of our patients have had any long term side effects from the vaccine. You may not feel well for a few days after getting the vaccine because you are tricking your body into thinking it is fighting the real COVID-19 virus, but because there is no virus there, you quickly return to normal.
If you’ve already had COVID-19: Many people have already been diagnosed with COVID-19 this past year. Although there are no official recommendations, if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 3 months, I would recommend waiting to get your COVID-19 vaccine. Having had the infection, you will most likely have at least 90 days of protection from getting re-infected, and getting the vaccine soon after having had the infection may give you more side effects from it.
There are a few new developments in the COVID-19 vaccines, but I first want to stress again the availability of Monoclonal Antibody Treatment for COVID-19. With all the discussion over the last year about hydroxyurea, zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and ivermectin for the early treatment of COVID-19, so far one of the best treatments early in the disease is monoclonal antibodies, which has been shown to decrease your risk of hospitalization and death. The key is getting the treatment early if you qualify, so you must get tested early if you have any symptoms suggestive of COVID, even if you think it’s just allergies! Click the COVID-19 tab above to find out more information about this treatment.