The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for two COVID-19 vaccines. More vaccines may be authorized early this year. COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the FDA have been shown to be safe and effective in clinical trials. Use this link for more information on the state of California’s tiered system for vaccine administration and when the vaccine may be available for you.
We do not expect to be a site for administration of the COVID19 vaccine. Please check with your local public health department. For concerns regarding allergies and vaccine safety, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions and Risk Assessment Tool
Due to current recommendations made by the US Government/State Government/CDC to reduce transmission of novel coronavirus – we are continuing with the following protocols:
1. Many in-office appointments including new patient consultations and established patient follow-ups will be conducted via telemedicine.
2. Allergy shots will continued to be offered at regular building and maintenance dose intervals.
3. Biologic shots (Xolair, Fasenra, Nucala, Dupixent) will continue to be administered in office.
4. If you have cough, cold, or flu-like symptoms (fever, fatigue, body aches, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat) and you have questions about what to do – please call the office via phone (916) 453-8696 or via the patient portal to receive advice and further direction. Do not just walk into the office.
Below are relevant questions/answers regarding COVID-19 and those with chronic allergies, asthma, and other chronic lung conditions:
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a new form of coronavirus first identified in December 2019. Coronaviruses, in general, are not new and are a common cause of colds and upper respiratory infections. We don’t yet know why this new form, COVID-19, is more severe.
How is COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly person-to-person, through respiratory droplets in coughs or sneezes. It can live on surfaces as well through these droplets.
What is the time period when COVID-19 can spread?
Unfortunately, people can spread the infection to others before symptoms first appear. It can then be spread for up to 14 days after symptom onset (possibly longer).
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The majority of people experience mild illness but severe illness and death can occur. Fever, cough, and shortness of breath are the most common symptoms. Certain groups of people have been identified as being at risk of having severe symptoms of COVID-19 if they are infected – older adults (over age 60) or those with chronic illness (including chronic heart disease, diabetes mellitus, and chronic lung disease – this includes asthma, COPD (bronchitis/asthma).
Here is information regarding what to do if you are at higher risk of severe symptoms from COVID-19 (understand that the changes we are implementing in the office are to help reduce your risk)
How is COVID-19 treated?
There are no current anti-viral treatments to use when someone is acutely infected. Treatment relies on supportive care to treat symptoms when they occur.
When should I seek emergency care?
Seek immediate medical attention if you have difficulty breathing, persistent chest pain or pressure, sudden confusion or inability to stay awake. These are not the only reasons someone may need emergency care – call your doctor for other concerns. Call any emergency department or medical provider BEFORE arrival to allow them to put precautions in place.
Can I get tested for COVID-19 at your office?
The indications for testing as well as availability for testing are constantly changing. We currently are unable to safely test for COVID-19.
When should I cancel my regularly scheduled allergy appointment?
If you or anyone in your household has experienced the following symptoms in the last 14 days: sore throat, cough, chills, body aches for unknown reasons, shortness of breath for unknown reasons, loss of smell, loss of taste, fever of 100 degrees or greater; if you or anyone in household has been tested for COVID19 in the last 14 days; if you or anyone in your household is currently awaiting results for a COVID19 test.
Is it safe to come to your office?
Yes. We are taking all recommended precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including reassessing what care must be done in a face-to-face manner, screening all patients and accompanying family members, regularly disinfecting exam rooms and public areas, and staying up to date with current recommendations from the local Department of Public Health.
I’m getting allergy shots – what should I do?
You may continue to come in for allergy shots at the regularly recommended building and maintenance intervals.
Will your office be closing?
No. We may need to adjust the number of appointments or types of visits depending upon the future spread of COVID-19. Please refer to our website for the most up to date information.
What if I have asthma? How will COVID-19 affect me?
We don’t have a lot of information regarding the risk of asthma exacerbation with COVID-19. For now, we recommend continuing all currently prescribed daily asthma medications, call our office if you have had frequent symptoms or needed your rescue inhaler more often, and starting your asthma treatment plan as soon as possible if symptoms occur.
Are steroids harmful if someone has COVID-19?
It does not appear that inhaled steroids or short courses of oral steroids are harmful for the treatment of asthma. The risk of stopping regular use of inhaled steroids include a loss of asthma control and the possible need for treatment with oral steroids. Please do not stop any medications without discussing it with your doctor.
I have an immune deficiency – what precautions should I take?
Please contact your doctor directly to discuss any necessary precautions. There is a wide range of immune deficiencies that may have different risk. All general precautions should be followed as outlined above.
What can we do as a community to stop and halt the spread of this virus?
It is first important to understand that anyone can acquire this infection – regardless of their age, gender, and medical conditions; we are able capable of acquiring the infection and therefore passing it to others. Even if you are younger without chronic diseases, you are still at risk of getting infected, and potentially transmitting the virus to someone else – potentially someone who is at higher risk of COVID-19-related severe symptoms. Although you may very well recover without significant medical attention needed, someone else who gets it may not. These patients who develop more severe symptoms may need necessary inpatient/hospital-level care – and those resources may become limited if we do not act to prevent continued community spread.