Salisbury Plastic Surgery Staff outside of front office
27
JAN

COVID-19 Update

THE ELUSIVE VACCINE!

Hello from all of us at Orange County Plastic Surgery in Newport Beach, CA and Salisbury Plastic Surgery in Worcester, MA. Dr. Ekstrom is working in Massachusetts this week and Dr. Bunkis is back in sunny, but not so warm, California (but WAY warmer than Massachusetts!). The OCPS staff is on the list for the second dose of their COVID-19 vaccines at the Orange County Surgery Center Vaccination site next week. But our Massachusetts staff is still on a tentative list for vaccinations in February. News reports in both California and Massachusetts talk about unused vaccines and the inability to vaccinate enough people. Now that multiple pharmacies are gearing up to begin vaccinating people, hopefully this bottleneck will ease, but we’re not so sure, in large part because of the conflicting and confusing guidelines issued by the States. This past week, Drs. Ekstrom and Bunkis had an inpatient over the age of 65 at the UMass Medical Center and requested that the patient receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The hospital has the vaccine, the patient is 65 years old with co-morbidities, but we were told that the patient did not qualify! Go figure!

Today's Headlines in the Boston Globe state that as Governor Baker is adding sites and accelerating vaccinations for residents over age 65 - yet hundreds of thousands of doses sit unused! And the situation is similar in California. What a shame that Massachusetts and California, two States with very advanced medical systems, top teaching hospitals, etc, are having such a difficult time vaccinating their citizens. Little West Virginia is far ahead of either of our States as far as the percentage of its citizens who have been vaccinated. We as a country are not doing as well as smaller countries like Israel. Israel struck a private deal with Pfizer, trading the much coveted vaccine for Israel’s medical data with the international drug giant – Israel will become the first country to inoculate its population against coronavirus. This raises some ethical questions regarding the divide between the haves and have nots. But we feel every Mayor, every Governor, every country should do what it can to get its citizens vaccinated!

A large part of our country, by some accounts up to 40% of citizens, question the vaccines and state that they will not accept it for fear of short or long term complications. The death toll from COVID-19 infections has been staggering and some risk has to be assumed to protect us from this disease. Over 4,000,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine have been administered and a severe anaphylactic reaction has been noted in 2.5 patients per million doses of the vaccine (these patients required medical treatment but did not die from the vaccine). Severe allergic reactions to Pfizer’s and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine occurred at a rate of 11.1 per 1 million vaccinations. By contrast, 2.2 patients per million contract Guillain-Barré syndrome after a flu vaccine. But all of these vaccines save many, many more patients than they harm! So, when your time comes, please do get the vaccine!

So where do we stand with the pandemic? The curves have flattened in CA and MA during the last two weeks but we are still experiencing staggering numbers of positive cases! Worldwide, the number of infected patients has topped 100 million (this number is now rising by half a million new infections per day), 25 million of those occurred here in the United States of America! 425,000 people have died in the United States from COVID-19 infection so far – this number is about the size of the population of Oklahoma City or Minneapolis, wiped out by one virus! This virus is causing scientists concerns because it is mutating and our current vaccines might not protect us from the newer versions of the virus – BUT TO DATE, EVERY INDICATION IS THAT THE CURRENT VACCINES WILL BE EFFECTIVE AGAINST THE CURRENT MUTATIONS!

People must eat, pay rent, work. Because the curves are flattening, Massachusetts and California governments are easing restrictions placed during the latest lockdowns. Both are allowing gyms, museums, hair salons and restaurants to resume business, but with restrictions of course. This brings some risk to our citizens but these risks are outweighed by economic rewards for our citizens. Support these businesses whenever you can – they need your help more than Amazon does right now!

Jeneen, Katie and Jo of OCPS staff with our anesthesiologist, Dr. Becker.

Jeneen, Katie and Jo of OCPS staff with our anesthesiologist, Dr. Becker.

Stay healthy! Stay happy and persevere!

The end of the pandemic is almost here!

Keep wearing your masks in public, social distancing, continue to wash your hands frequently, all of you get tested before getting together with friends and family, get vaccinated when you get the opportunity, be safe, be happy, be healthy and prosper!

Enjoy your families! And have a Happy New Year!

Be grateful for what you have now and for what is on the horizon.

If you need Dr. Ekstrom or Dr. Bunkis, please call 949-888-9700 or visit our websites at:

www.orangecountyplasticsurgery.com

Or for MA location, call 508-755-4911 or visit
www.salisburyps.com

You can respond in the comment section below or write to me at bunkis@ocps.com or Dr. Ekstrom at deborahekstrom@gmail.com

Thanks for staying in touch and for your feedback!