The New Year often marks a period of self-reflection and setting goals. At Florida Medical Clinic, 2022 represents a turning of a new leaf and all the energy and enthusiasm a new year brings. While the pandemic continues to evolve, we remain steadfast in the notion that knowledge is power. There are signs of hope in emerging treatments, innovation, and research. And we know more with each passing day.
Optimism is on the Rise
I am optimistic about what’s to come. Florida Medical Clinic continues to build new facilities to meet the needs of our growing Florida population. This summer, we will open the doors to our new 32,000 square foot medical office building situated in the heart of the Watergrass community. This facility will house Family Medicine and medical specialties like Allergy, Urology, Behavioral Health, Cardiology, Diagnostic Laboratory and Radiology to serve the families in this growing community.
As always, we will continue to provide important information to help you and your family stay healthy and safe in the months ahead. Here are a few updates to get you started on the right path.
CDC Booster Guidelines for Florida
It is vital to understand the booster guidelines that the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) have recommended. Today, Pfizer vaccine boosters are available for everyone over the age of 12, while Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccines are ready for those over the age of 18. The booster shot is available at many locations, including CVS, Walmart, and Walgreens Pharmacies. We encourage everyone who qualifies for the booster do so. It can reduce the risk of hospitalization and death, even with the Omicron variant. While the vaccination and booster do not necessarily mean you cannot contract or spread the virus, the likelihood is that your symptoms will be far milder.
Updates on Omicron Variant
We have learned from global data points that the Omicron variant is less potent, causing milder symptoms than previous COVID-19 strains. However, Omicron is far more transmissible and has resulted in exceptional pressure on healthcare systems across the US.
This means the risk of contracting Omicron will most definitely remain, and so should our resolve to take the precautionary measures to protect ourselves.
Vaccines for Children Under Five: An Update
The Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 is approved for patients five years and older. As such, the FDA has made it a priority to evaluate the vaccine’s safety in children under the age of five. According to statements made by government officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, we are hopeful this approval may come in the months ahead. – We know that the decision to vaccinate your child is a meaningful conversation, and we encourage you to speak to your family physician for more information and guidance.
What’s on the Horizon – New Vaccines, New Strains, etc.
We have reason to be hopeful for the future. First, our vaccination rates are increasing as more Americans receive the vaccination and booster. Second, as of late January, the CDC is not reporting any new variants of concern. Third, because of the numerous infections caused by the Omicron variant, millions of Americans now may have acquired natural immunity to COVID-19. Finally, it is likely that COVID 19 will become endemic, much like the flu, where a mild form of the disease exists indefinitely and for which we will need yearly vaccinations.
For now, we should take the appropriate precautions to ensure that we do not put ourselves at unnecessary risk of infection and hospitalization. We can do this by practicing recommended COVID safety habits, including avoiding crowds, washing hands frequently, and wearing a mask when appropriate.
In summary, our recommendation to you is: Enjoy your Life. Eat healthy foods, drink water and stay hydrated, continue to exercise and move, keep in touch with your family and friends. Be steadfast about mask wearing, hand washing and follow the CDC safety recommendations. Florida Medical Clinic will take care of the ‘Keeping You Healthy part’.
On behalf of Florida Medical Clinic, our providers and staff, we thank you for your continued trust.