Continuing the Fight Against COVID-19

Author: Dr. David Dickerhoff, DDS, MAGD, FOCOI

Give Kids A SmileWe have always practiced universal precautions since our practice opened twenty five years ago. Perhaps the reason why Covid-19 deaths, hospitalizations and infections have been so low in our professional community is because of these practices and our beliefs in following science. I encourage all of our patient base to remain vigilant in getting the vaccination, wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing. A tent in located in Southwinds Plaza beside Big Lots which will perform both types of testing if you are unsure of your viral status. Let us remain committed during this pandemic.  The end may be in sight, but we are not there yet.

This was the paragraph where I ended my last blog. Numbers are at the same or higher than the worst peak than we experienced last January/February. Most of our hospitals are overrun and emergency rooms are once again focusing on treating Covid-19 cases. ICUs are full again and elective care surgeries are being cancelled. But here’s the good news.

The vaccines work. A peer-reviewed study in the Lancet that gathered data from December 8, 2020 through July 4, 2021 showed that of more than 1.2 million adults who received the first dose, fewer than 0.5% reported contracting infections two weeks or more after getting the immunization. Among those who got both shots, less than 0.2% experienced a breakthrough infection a week or more after getting their second shot. We have essentially eradicated most childhood diseases through vaccination. Also, masks work. The incidence of flu cases in November 2020 was approximately 91% lower than in November of 2019. Flu vaccines were up but we were still under significant masking. Overall we had 1% of the number of hospitalizations for flu nationally in 2020 than in previous years.

My recommendations are as follows; if you are not vaccinated, get vaccinated. The longer we have unvaccinated people socializing, not only will we continue to have a record number of hospitalizations and deaths, we create conditions for serious variants to evolve-and eventually one of those will be able to evade the vaccines altogether and we’ll be back where we started.  If you are vaccinated, get the booster. The CDC has stated that mixing and matching your initial vaccination with a different booster still will boost your immune’s system amnestic response and provide benefit. This week, I got my booster from the CVS on Bragg Blvd. which was a Moderna booster. My initial immunization from Cape Fear Valley Rehab Center was Pfizer. I had no side effects other than a sore arm for two days.  Wear masks and socially distance, when possible.

As school and sporting activities are starting to dominate our schedules, I realize the benefits of on site education.  But I can’t help but notice the filled stadiums with hardly a mask in sight. We are not there yet. Please consider our responsibility to each other and let us relinquish some personal freedoms for the greater good.