We now are in the vaccination stage of fighting this pandemic. About one million persons a day are receiving either the Pfizer vaccine or the Moderna vaccine. Both vaccines work in a similar manner and neither one contains any form of any virus. Allergic reactions have been rare, even in Allergy patients, occurring at about 1/50,000 injections.
When they occur they are generally mild and easily treated with the epi pen which they have at all the sites.
All of our physicians and the great majority of our staff have already received both injections of either the Pfizer vaccine or the Moderna vaccine. Look for CVS pharmacies to start offering the vaccine soon.
Only a vaccine will stop this pandemic, not a politician!
This week pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced that their new covid – 19 vaccine showed 90% efficacy. In other words subjects who received the vaccine were 90% protected from getting covid – 19 disease. As a point of reference the annual flu vaccine Is between 40 – 60% effective in preventing influenza.
What makes this more amazing is that the new vaccines including this one do not contain coronavirus. Instead this vaccine contains the genetic code or messenger RNA to produce the spike proteins that occur on the surface of a coronavirus.
This study involved 44,000 patients and 94 subjects became ill with covid – 19. Most, if not all, of the subjects who became infected received the placebo.
Side effects were minimal including fatigue, headaches, and chills that were very short lived.
This incredible medical breakthrough was a direct result of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed which produced lifesaving vaccines safely in 5 months rather than 5 years.
Keep looking here for updates.
The viral pandemic is continuing through summer, as this coronavirus appears quite different from most respiratory viruses. It appears the virus is not seasonal and doesn’t seem to be affected by climate as most respiratory viruses are. For instance, influenza virus is predominate in the winter months, and becomes dormant in the summer. We are following all CDC recommendations including wearing masks and requiring patients to wear masks, social distancing, and limiting the number of patients our office at one time by having patients come in by appointment for their allergy injections.
ACTIV (Accelerating Covid – 19Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccine ) is a coordinated research response to the Covid – 19 pandemic. This is bringing together the National Institutes of Health, the Health and Human Services office of the government and private industry and is progressing at breakneck speed. We will have a vaccine by mid-fall.
The vaccine may initially be given to select groups such as nursing home residents and medical personnel. Hopefully persons will put aside superstitions and suspicions regarding vaccines, as we will need widespread application of this vaccine. The only other way to approach herd immunity is for virtually everyone to contract this disease, which is not acceptable.
As of May 1, 2020 Arizona has recorded 7648 confirmed cases of Covid–19. Of course over half of these persons have recovered and would likely not be shedding virus. However even if you doubled the amount of cases, assuming that everyone has not counted, and divide that by the 7.5 million people in this state you come up with 0.2% incidence of confirmed disease. This means that 2 people in a thousand have this illness and in one of the two the illness is not active.
Continue to take sensible precautions as we do in our office.
We are open and patients can come in safely to maintain their asthma management or to receive allergy injections. We are doing this by appointment and have a minimal number of persons in the office at the same time
We have made some important changes in office policy so that we can remain open and as a medical resource to the community. Our allergy injections are now by appointment only, so we are controlling patient flow; we often have no more than 2-3 persons in our entire large waiting rooms. We are maintaining social distancing, wearing masks when in proximity of patients, disinfecting surfaces all day. Hence you are probably safer coming in to our offices for an appointment than you are going to the grocery market or your pharmacy.
Our two offices are currently open and we are giving allergy injections according to our customary schedules. We are directing patients with dry cough and fever to go to the medical centers like Banner Hospital emergency or urgent care, where testing is available by appointment. We are using social distancing as much as possible at our office, and when appropriate our staff are wearing masks and we are thoroughly disinfecting all surfaces frequently. As of March 27 there are 500 or so cases documented of covid – 19 out of 7 1/2 million Arizona residents, and although this number may eventually rise there is no reason for panic, nor hoarding of household supplies. We are Americans; we got through the Vietnam War, the Cold War, the 2008 housing/banking crisis, and now we will get through this.
At Alvernon Allergy & Asthma PC, we now have 3 trained specialty allergist/immunologists, all accepting new patients at this time. At all new visits and any recheck visits patients always see an MD with a two-year fellowship completed in Allergy and Immunology.
Physicians in our practice have consistently been listed as national top doctors as reported annually in Tucson Lifestyle Magazine. At times Alvernon Allergy has taken 3 of the 5 slots for local top Allergists/ Iimmunologists.
The American Board of Medical Specialties list only 5 local allergists as having achieved the “maintenance of certification”. This indicates their board certification is up-to-date and they have passed all continuing education and testing requirements. 2 of these 5 doctors practice within Alvernon Allergy.
Last, but certainly not least, Medicare rates the cost effectiveness of every doctor that sees Medicare patients. One may look this up for any MD and any specialist by googling “Medicare Unmasked, Behind the Numbers”, putting in the city/state/doctor’s specialty. These numbers can give you a relative idea of what you will be charged at various practices; our doctors are the most cost-effective of any private practice of Allergy and Immunology in the city of Tucson, and in the very top percentage for the state of Arizona. This of course with the patient responsible for increasing co-pays and coinsurance, is important for commercially insured patients also, as our cost effectiveness is across the line with all products. Certain local Allergy practices are listed at charging 200% – 300% more than our physicians.
We are ready to see you!
We are having a warm winter as far, with some rain. It is likely this will lead to an active spring pollen season. Fortunately now our practice has four MD specialists with plenty of available new openings due to the recent addition of our latest physician. That means on every visit you will be seeing an MD specialist who has completed 3 years of either internal medicine or pediatric training, and a 2 year fellowship in adult/pediatric allergy and immunology. Our waiting time for a new patient has been dramatically reduced, and sometimes we can get patients in the same week that they call. Remember, if you think you may elect to have allergy skin testing, stop all antihistamine medications at least 5 days prior to your scheduled visit.
Since we have added a new doctor to our practice, the waiting time to see a new patient has been dramatically reduced. We are entering the fall allergy season, when the grasses and weeds pollenate, and November tends to have the highest mold counts. Please call our office to schedule an appointment, and you may be surprised how quickly we can get you in. We see patients with asthma, allergic rhinitis, hives, eczema, drug allergy and sinus disease among other conditions.
We are happy to announce the addition of our newest M.D., Dr. Christine Kucera. She is a board certified allergy/immunology specialist with experience working with adult and pediatric allergy patients, previously practicing in Houston, Texas. We now have 4 physicians available, making the wait for new patient appointments significantly shorter than in the past. We welcome patients of all ages at both of our clinic locations, mid-town and Northwest.