In light of Governor Gavin Newsom’s Regional Stay-Home-Order that went into effect at midnight last night, we wanted to remind you that healthcare is an essential service, and we remain open to care for you at this time. Our primary care, specialty care and urgent care providers are dedicated to providing you the healthcare you need. Now and always, the health of our patients and staff remains our top priority, and we have many measures in place to ensure your safety. If you have a scheduled in-clinic appointment and would prefer to change it to a Telehealth visit, please contact your healthcare provider.
With all of the media coverage regarding impending emergency use authorizations for a variety of different COVD-19 vaccines, we have been receiving many questions from patients wanting to know when they can anticipate getting vaccinated. As of today, December7, only two pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer and Moderna, have applied to the FDA for emergency use authorization of their mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. This means that the FDA is now reviewing the safety and efficacy data to make a determination about whether to authorize these vaccines to be distributed and administered.
Our understanding is that the FDA may make a determination about one or both of these vaccines within the next week or so and if they grant authorization, vaccines may be distributed sometime this month. However, the distribution and administration of vaccine will be controlled by the CDC in concert with local public health departments to ensure that direct health care workers and first responders are vaccinated first, followed by patients who are at greater risk for illness due to age or other medical conditions that would put them at risk, such as those residing in a skilled nursing facility or congregate living facility. As a result, realistically, the general public will likely not be able to get vaccinated prior to the end of the first quarter of 2021 and much will be dependent on the supply of vaccine and the logistics of administration. We, like you, hope that distribution will be faster than it now appears it will be, and we will continue to keep you updated as we learn more. But, at the moment we do not anticipate planning to vaccinate the general public, even if you have a risk factor, for several months. To get the most current information about COVID-19 vaccines, stages of development and authorizations, please click on: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/8-things.html
We are currently following Santa Barbara County Public Health Department guidelines.
Due to the shortages of testing materials, we are only testing patients if they have a scheduled procedure, have COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, muscle aches, sore throat, cough, loss of sense of taste or smell or have had a close contact exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. To determine if you should be tested, please contact your provider.
If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop any of these symptoms, we suggest the following actions. If you are experiencing emergency warning signs such as difficulty breathing, pressure or pain in chest, bluish lips or face, confusion or hard to wake, or other serious symptoms, call 911 immediately.
Access our COVID-19 Symptom Checker in MyChart. This is an online tool that will ask you a series of questions and provide you with recommended next steps. If you have shortness of breath, high fever or other severe symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider first.
Whether or not you have been tested for COVID-19, if you are feeling sick, it's important to self-isolate, rest, and monitor your symptoms.
Flu shots are particularly important this year to prevent patients from potentially becoming ill with both COVID-19 and influenza – especially for those at increased medical risk for severe complications should they contract flu or COVID-19.
If you haven’t already received a flu shot, we encourage you to do so, knowing Sansum Clinic is following social distancing guidelines and other safety precautions to protect patients and staff.
Sansum Clinic patients can call our Flu Hotline at (805) 681-7805, or login to MyChart to schedule a flu shot, which we are administering by appointment only.
We’ll send a longer update shortly, but we wanted to let you know that we remain open even with the new lockdown.
We’re here for you, and we are all smiling under our masks.