Greetings from the Entire Be Well Medical Center Staff:
We would like to update you with COVID-19 information. We know it has been some time since we have communicated with you by email, however we have been counseling our patients by phone and in person about this.
First, and probably most important, the first line of defense against COVID-19 is to get immunized. Simply stated, the vaccine is beneficial against mortality from COVID. I can not state this in any better way. It may not be 100% effective from contracting this disease, but it has been shown to profoundly reduce mortality and hospitalizations while being safe. With that said this decision is a personal one and should be discussed with a knowledgeable health care provider. We have personally heard too many tragic stories from patients and friends how their loved ones thought “it could never happen to me” or “I already had COVID-19” and did not get vaccinated and died from Covid-19. This could have been prevented. Even if you have recovered from COVID there is additional benefit from getting vaccinated due to the variants of the original virus. There is little sense in waiting for full approval which I believe to be eminent.
Get Vaccinated Now if You Have Not Already Done So!
We will not be able to vaccinate ourselves out of this pandemic. There are many variables, and one solution does not fit all situations. Facial coverings may have benefit. If you are unvaccinated then use of appropriate facial coverings when you are with other people becomes very important. If you are completely vaccinated, then you should still wear coverings if you are in a group of people of unknown COVID status. N-95 masks are best, but they need to be of proper fit and can be uncomfortable when worn correctly. They may not be necessary. Thin and flimsy cloths are not as likely to stop the spread. Use your best judgement in choosing material for facial covering and not simply choose a material to make a fashion statement.
Like we have been explaining for years about HIV, you have choices of how many risk reductions you are willing to take. Vaccinations, facial coverings, avoiding packed crowds, social distancing, hand washing, and booster vaccinations are just a few. Common sense should dictate what you do or do not do. It’s time to start living a reasonably “normal life” while being mindful. I don’t believe we will ever reach zero risk. Nothing in life is zero risk, including driving in an automobile, flying, crossing the street, or taking medication. With that said, you need to find your own balance to protect yourself AND those around you.
In the early 1980s, I was lecturing on HIV/AIDS and said, “We will always have pandemics that society will have to deal with and AIDS will not be the last” and neither will COVID. We live in a biological time bomb, and as science advances, we will evolve and make appropriate changes. Hopefully, there will be something learned from this tragedy to help manage the next one. AIDS is no longer a deadly disease, but a chronic and manageable one. Cure research for AIDS is happening now. Perhaps it will pave the way for COVID-19, too.
We will begin offering walk-in COVID boosters on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month beginning September 4, 2021 from the hours of 10 A.M. to 1 P.M. These will be available only to the patients that received their original immunizations at our office. Due to the logistics of not wasting open bottles of vaccine, which expire 6 hours after opening them, we cannot offer these boosters at any other times. There are many other facilities (like pharmacies) offering vaccinations and we encourage you to go to one of these centers if you like or find it more convenient. We do recommend a minimum of 6 months before getting boosters if you had experienced COVID or from your last vaccination for it. Also, if you received the J&J vaccine (the one injection vaccine), you do not require a booster at this time.
Our Covid-19 Booster Criteria:
P.S. It is a requirement that any person entering a health care facility wear a mask. Please bring your mask with you when you come to our office. Thank you.
To Your Good Health…We Remain
Dr. Paul Benson
Medical Director of Be Well Medical Center
M-Thurs: 7:30 am - 8:30 pm
Fridays: 8 am - 5 pm
Select Saturdays: 8 am - 12 noon