Flu Vaccine Clinic Update

It’s that time of the year, and we have started to receive flu vaccine doses. We anticipate having enough for everyone but unfortunately we do not get all the doses at once, and we have no control over when additional shipments will arrive.  COVID social distancing requirements will mean that we need to have an appointment based system in order to safely deliver flu vaccines to our patients. We had hoped to be able to offer online flu shot appointments but the folks at UCSF IT were not able to complete that project for us yet. We will update you when that changes.

Since it’s important not to delay flu vaccinations we are going to start offering flu shot clinic next week, here are some important details. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY as this is a little different then what we’ve done in the past:

  • the first round of flu vaccine clinics will be held Mon 8/31/20 to Fri 9/4/20
  • flu vaccine clinic will be held in a pop-up tent in our parking lot
  • there can be 1 adult with each child
  • everyone over the age of 2 years will need to wear a mask
  • we have a limited number of appointment slots and cannot accommodate walk-ins at this time
  • We will start making appointments for flu vaccine clinic on Monday 8/31/20 at 9am.
  • You can call the office or send in an appointment requests via a MyChart message using the UCSF patient portal
  • we will be reaching out to our high risk patients to schedule their flu vaccine appointments
  • we will have more flu vaccine clinics as we get more vaccine supplies, we anticipate having enough for everyone this season
  • this flu vaccine clinic is ONLY for the flu vaccine and ONLY for established PWG patients

Flu Season is coming…

We are actively preparing for the upcoming flu vaccine season…we do NOT have flu vaccine in yet but will let you all know ASAP when it arrives. Merrie is part of our stellar front desk crew, she wrote up step by step instructions on how to sign up for MyChart access which is the patient portal to our EHR. This will allow you to schedule flu vaccine clinic appointments online:

1. Go to pediactricwellnessgroup.com

2. Click on PWG Patient Center → Select “Patient Portal”

3. Scroll down and you will see “Here’s how you can sign up:” a. Click on the Age Appropriate Proxy Authorization form PDF (0-11 yrs or 12-17 yrs) i. Parent must fill out one proxy form PER CHILD.

4. After Parent fills out Proxy Authorization Form, they can submit it to the Front Desk to verify information & identity. (Photo ID IS REQUIRED!)

5. Front Desk will either: email or text the UCSF MyChart link to the Parent

6. Once Parents receive the link, they must sign up using THEIR information (PARENT’S SSN, PARENT’S DOB, ect…)

7. For patients who are 18 years of age or older, they can enroll directly. i. Give MRN # and direct them to ucsfhealth.org/mychart

If you have any questions, you can call our office at 650-216-7794 or MyChart Customer Service at (415) 514-6000 to speak with MyChart staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 

PWG COVID update 6-25-20

We have been getting lots of questions about how to safely navigate the process of re-entry to school, work, play, etc. Experts are cautioning that as we open back up there will be more potential exposure, but that does not mean we cannot take steps to protect ourselves. Three highly effective precautions are: 1) wash your hands well and often 2) wear a mask if you cannot maintain 6 feet of social distance with people who are not part of your household 3) avoid touching your face. Some experts are also talking about the idea of a “social bubble” or “quarantine “pod” in which two or three families agree to socialize with one another but no one else. In a pod, families hang out together, often without regard to social distancing — but outside of the pod, they follow recommended social distancing rules. There is no perfect answer or universal solution, every family needs to balance their needs with potential risks and make a decision that is right for them. If you have questions, feel free to set up an appointment to discuss this further with your doctor at PWG.

Here are some important updates about COVID we thought you should know:

  • COVID lockdowns prevented 60M cases in the US
  • Children with COVID-19 were rarely the source of infections in their household, according to a study published in May. Many experts are advocating for strategies that allow children/young adults to go back to school safely because of growing evidence that prolonged isolation can harm their social development.
  • There is no current evidence that pets play a significant role in spreading COVID-19 to people
  • Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a rare inflammatory condition linked to COVID, but we still do not know a lot about it. Many cases are concentrated on the East Coast, unclear if this is because the East Coast was hit by a variant from Europe while the West Coast was hit by a variant from China
  • Anywhere from 30% to 50% of coronavirus spread may be traced to people with no symptoms. This reinforces the importance of following 3 basic precautions: 1) wash your hands well and often 2) wear a mask if you cannot maintain 6 feet of social distance with people who are not part of your household 3) avoid touching your face

There are multiple guidelines that can change rapidly as we learn more about COVID, rest assured that Team PWG is working constantly to update our protocols to keep our families, staff, and community safe!

We stand together.

We share your collective grief at what has transpired to bring us to this moment. Racism leaves a toxic mark on all of us, a growing body of research tells us that it harms children’s health even before they are born. We have been deeply saddened by the events of the past week and we want you to know that PWG stands in solidarity with the black community against racism and injustice.
We will be closing early tomorrow, June 2, 2020 at 3:30p. After we close tomorrow there will be a PWG physician on-call for urgent questions. If you experience a medical emergency please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. We anticipate regular hours resuming on Wednesday June 3, 2020. We will post updates in case of any changes.
Many of you may be grappling with your own emotions as you try to help your children process theirs. Here are some resources to help you and your family:
Books:
Websites:
Ted Talk:
the AAP website Healthy Children also has some good resources:
and finally, an image that gives us hope…

5/18/20 PWG COVID AND PIMS UPDATE

We have been sharing the good news about how the Bay Area “flattened the curve” by following national and local health guidelines [shelter at home, social distancing, hand washing and wearing a mask when we have to go out].  However, recent reports have discussed a new concern for our children – Pediatric Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome or PIMS.

PIMS is a very rare syndrome similar to Kawasaki Disease and Toxic Shock syndrome, which most of you have never heard about.  While extremely rare, about 100 children have been affected as of this writing. The syndrome is thought to be a post-viral process, most likely related to COVID 19.  The majority of patients with PIMS are COVID-antigen negative, but antibody positive or have a history of close contact with a COVID-positive patient.

Children with PIMS look sick.  They have had a few days of fever greater than 101, and may have symptoms that include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, rash, red eyes, swollen hands or red cracked lips.   Younger children may not want to drink.  Few patients actually have the respiratory symptoms we see in adults.

Our concern is the syndrome may affect heart function requiring hospitalization and ICU care. The  majority of children do well with this syndrome but they need special attention and supportive care.  Pediatric Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome is new. We are watching this very carefully and scientists around the world are working hard to understand this syndrome and how best to treat it. The AAP website Healthy Children has written an excellent summary for parents and you can find that here. We will continue to update you as we get more information.

Until then, we want to reassure parents that most children are not affected by the coronavirus, and reports of children who become seriously ill remain rare and unusual cases. Many children have red eyes, or rash or diarrhea without fever or looking ill.  These children do not have PIMS.  What should parents do?  If you are concerned, please contact our office. We can set up a telehealth visit with your pediatrician who can evaluate your child and answer all your questions.

PWG COVID-19 UPDATE 5/15/20

The best advice in a nutshell…

Big news for those of us in San Mateo County from our county health officer Dr. Scott Morrow: he will release a new order this week that allows for the return of retail and manufacturing with new physical-distancing measures.  A big thank you to all of you for doing the hard work to follow shelter in place guidelines these past few weeks, you have saved lives!

Team PWG is here for you and will continue to be here for you every step of the way. We’ve worked hard to keep our office a safe place for all our families, we’ve put new workflow protocols in place that allow us to see patients safely while following social distancing guidelines.  There have been reports in the news this week about an unusual inflammatory illness in pediatric patients that may be triggered by COVID. We do not have the full picture yet, but we are monitoring developments closely. Please feel free to discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor at PWG.

We have been getting a lot of questions from families about local COVID-19 serology testing options that are currently available for people and wanted to give you all an update. Please note that information about COVID serology testing is changing rapidly and may already be out of date by the time many of us get tested. Before you decide to proceed there are some important considerations:

  • many local options are NOT FDA approved or only approved under emergency use guidelines. Getting FDA approval takes time and because of the pressing need to expand testing options many companies/health systems are working on getting FDA approval while allowing public access to these tests.
  • If you do have COVID antibodies it is not clear if this means you are immune to future infections. We recommend continuing with all social distancing protocols and following local county health department guidelines until we learn more.
  • We recommend you check with your insurance company about whether testing will be covered.
  • Serology testing that we discuss is for people with no symptoms. If you are sick and would like to discuss COVID testing please call our office to set up a video visit to discuss further.

Local COVID antibody testing options for asymptomatic people:

  • For Quest:
    • They are testing for one type of COVID antibody, IgG type
    • The price for this test is $119 plus an additional $10.30 service fee, you can find more information on Quest’s website
    • If you have any further questions you can set up a telemedicine appointment with your doctor at PWG to discuss the test, we can then order the test for you and follow up with you when we get the results.
    • We are being told it can take up to 7 to 10 days for results, it might be sooner in some cases.
  • For Stanford:
    • They are testing for 2 types of COVID antibodies, IgM and IgG
    • Please check with Stanford directly about the cost of the test.
    • If you have any further questions you can set up a telemedicine appointment with your doctor to discuss the test, we can then order the test for you and follow up with you when we get the results.
    • We are being told it can take up to 7 to 10 days for results, it might be sooner in some cases.
    • If your child is under 18 years of age, please call their customer service line at 1-877-717-3733 to confirm which draw station is open and accepting pediatric patients. As of this writing either 725 Welch Road or 730 Welch Road labs are open for pediatric patients.
    • You can find additional information on their website

4/21/20 PWG COVID-19 update

Thanks to your efforts in following the shelter in place guidelines the Bay Area has flattened the COVID-19 curve and saved many lives. Team PWG has been working hard to make sure our office remains a safe place for our staff and our families, and we thank all of you for being patient and understanding as we navigate this “new normal”. The AAP has emphasized the importance of maintaining routine health visits during the pandemic. We are currently prioritizing well visits for infants 0-24 months, children 4-6 years, and adolescents 11-13 years of age to make sure they remain up to date with crucial vaccinations.

Team PWG is dedicated to your health and well-being, we wanted to share some of the things we’re doing to keep our staff and our families healthy:

  • Walk in appointments are not allowed
  • Temperatures are taken on anyone entering our office, including our staff
  • Our staff is wearing gowns and masks when interacting with patients
  • We have designated rooms for well visits and sick visits
  • All exam rooms are disinfected after each visit, and the entire office is deep cleaned at the end of the day.
  • Our front office is cleaned regularly throughout the day
  • We have stopped offering refreshments, prizes, and stickers
  • All sick visits start as a telemedicine appointment to limit potential exposure and to make sure you are given the right treatment at the right place at the right time
  • we are asking anyone with a fever, cough, or other symptoms to wait in their car
  • Visits are limited to the child/adolescent/young adult being seen and 1 parent/guardian
  • We practice social distancing as much as possible, including between our staff members
  • We have also implemented several behind-the-scenes protocols designed to protect all of us from spreading illnesses.

We are ready to respond quickly as our local health climate changes. Stay safe, be well, and know that Team PWG is here for you!

4/8/20 PWG COVID-19 UPDATE

We are entering a crucial time in our efforts to slow down the spread of COVID-19; the Bay Area appears to have a “flatter curve” than other parts of the country but experts caution that our peak is expected to arrive next week. We remain open to serve our patients and our community; we are prioritizing well visits for certain age groups (0 to 24 months, 4-6 years, 11-13 years) to keep our patients on track with important vaccines, we are making telemedicine appointments for all sick visits, and we are following state and local guidelines to keep our patients and staff safe. Please see earlier updates for more details.

Cleo, our kitty correspondent based at Dr. Eileen’s house, has been diligently keeping up with the latest data and she wants to share some good news with you:

  • on Monday the CDC released a report analyzing US data of laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases between 2/12/20 and 4/2/20. The bottom line: COVID-19 tends to be less severe in children.
  • for those of you who want numbers:
    • there were 149,760 cases in that time frame; 2,572 cases (1.7%) were in children < 18 years.
    • in pediatric patients with confirmed cases 73% had symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath (93% of adults with COVID-19 had these symptoms)
    • the hospitalization rate for all pediatric patients was 5.7% (adults had a 10% rate) and 3 pediatric deaths have been reported nationally.
  • some key takeaways from the data are 1) relatively few kids with COVID-19 are sick enough to be hospitalized 2) fewer kids with COVID-19 experience the symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath 3) social distancing and preventative measures such as washing hands and avoiding touching your face are very important in reducing the transmission of COVID-19
  • Testing is still limited in our area, and we still do not have access to unlimited testing at this time.

Team PWG is here to support our families and our community with important information; we are strong, and we will get through this!