COVID-19, the pandemic that has rooted up lives worldwide, continues to affect normalcy as we know it. A lot has changed and continues to change, and many of us wonder if this will ever end. With the advent of vaccines, hope that had evaporated for so many, started to bloom again. Scientifically, these vaccines, while not promising to make people untouchable by the virus, give a great fighting chance against long-term effects and death. Recently, there have been reports worldwide of breakthrough infections, but is it something to worry about?
The Truth About Vaccines
Vaccines are not formulated to prevent folks from ever getting infected at all. Rather, they are to protect from severe disease and death, exactly what the COVID-19 vaccines are statistically proven to do.
Breakthrough infections are when a fully vaccinated person contracts the virus, regardless of the symptoms, and these reports, have a lot of the general public on edge about getting vaccinated. These breakthrough infections have resulted in mild symptoms, if any, indicating that the vaccines are doing what they were designed to do. In Iceland, for example, most of their recent COVID-19 cases are among the vaccinated population. These infections though, have shown to be profusely mild. Hospitalizations and deaths having remained low, with only 2% people requiring medical attention of 1,300 reportedly affected.
Studies show that individuals with breakthrough infections may still infect offers. While this is so, being vaccinated means you’ll get the better of or conquer the virus quicker than your unvaccinated counterpart, thus lessening the time that you are considered contagious and at risk of spreading it to others.
With this knowledge, we can breathe a sigh of relief. But why is it happening and what then does this mean for us?
Immunity Wanes Overtime
Recent studies from the United Kingdom indicates that the protection or immunity we receive from the COVID-19 vaccines begins to dwindle after a period of approximately 4-6 months. This would explain why as the more infectious variants continue to circulate, we will see a rise in the breakthrough vaccinations, emerging months after many people worldwide have already been fully vaccinated. Vaccine effectiveness, however, is significantly high, so the protection offered is not critically affected and explains why we might need booster shots in the foreseeable future. More information about Covid Vaccine Wearing Off And Breakthrough Infections.
One’s level of exposure to the virus is possibly another reason for breakthrough infections. As a fully vaccinated person, if you have limited contact with infected people or areas, you are least likely to develop symptomatic infection. However, if you interact with positive cases on a regular basis or for extended periods, this could make it much more difficult for your immune system to ward it off, possibly explaining the reason for healthcare workers getting breakthrough infections.
A Positive Note
Breakthrough infections, though worrisome, are no reason to panic. Breakthrough infections could serve as some sort of booster dose in their own way. While the evidence on this may not be concrete, it is not an unfathomable point given what we have come to understand about our immune system and how it works.
Experiencing a breakthrough infection re-exposes your immune system to the virus’ spike protein. This will boost antibodies that will fight against the spike. This will increase your level of protection against the virus as your body recognizes and can effectively fight off the virus.
COVID-19 doesn’t seem to be going anywhere soon. It might be something we have to live with – an endemic – if it continues to remain amongst the various world populations. Even if COVID-19 remains, misinformation or the lack thereof are not issues that have to plague us as well. Proven studies and credible information exist and, it is in our best interest to ensure we stay informed and protected against this disease.
Reports of Covid-19 breakthrough infections in the United States and Israel have many people worried. What people are concerned about is when people that are fully vaccinated test positive for Covid. This is called a breakthrough infection.
Most breakthrough infections result in mild to no symptoms proving that vaccines are working the way they should. The purpose of these vaccines is to protect the vaccinated from death or a severe illness. The biggest misconception is that vaccines protect from getting infected what some call sterilizing immunity.
The fact of the matter is that people with breakthrough infections can infect other people. Case studies show immunized people potentially have higher levels of the virus in their noses than unvaccinated people. The difference between breakthrough infections and being unvaccinated is those vaccinated will clear the virus quicker, reducing the amount of time they’re infectious and can pass the virus to other people.
Although breakthrough cases are happening, many case studies show that there is no need to worry. A study at the University of Illinois showed that vaccinated individuals with a breakthrough infection are less likely to shed infectious virus at a given viral load. The study also indicates that they shed shorter than unvaccinated individuals and are symptomatic for fewer days.
New reports coming out of the UK with 1.2 million participants show that the vaccine has signs of waning. Pfizer came in at 88%-> 74% at four months, while AZ came in at 77%-> 67% at three months.
At this point, it is unclear if children contribute to breakthrough infections. Children under the age of twelve can’t be vaccinated just yet even though there is discussion about Covid vaccines for ages 5 to 12, thus there is a spike in cases related to kids compared to the elderly. Before the emergence of the Delta variant, early case studies indicated that children insignificantly contributed to transmission. This has drastically changed with school systems in multiple locations publishing data as to the number of infected school children.
Covid became an epidemic in our society. It can fade away or continue to evolve. Keeping a close eye on interactions between the virus and vaccines is essential.
The effectiveness of the Pfizer shot dropped to 74%, while AstraZeneca dropped to 67% after six months. According to researchers in Britain this underscores the need for booster shots. After six months, the effectiveness of Pfizer in preventing COVID-19 a month after the second dose dropped from 88% to 74%. As for AstraZeneca, the effectiveness dropped from 77% to 67% after five months.
Britain, along with other European countries, planned a vaccine booster campaign for Covid 19 later on in the year. Top vaccine advisors believe a third shot is necessary for the elderly and more vulnerable people. The United States government also plans to provide a third shot starting in mid-September to people who had their initial shot more than eight months ago. Britain conducted a separate public health study on protection from either Pfizer-BioNTech or AstraZeneca vaccines against the delta variant within three months. Studies done at Oxford University show that 90 days after the second shot of AstraZeneca or the Pfizer vaccine, the prevention of infections slipped to 75% and 61%. That’s down respectfully from 85% and 68% two weeks after the second dose. This still a significantly better rate than 0%.
President Joe Biden announced widespread COVID-19 testing and vaccine mandates on Thursday, September 9th. These measures are intended both to stem the tide of the pandemic and encourage more Americans to get vaccinated. The number of Covid cases in the United States has risen roughly 8% in the past 14 days, and just 54% of the total population is currently vaccinated.
The measures that President Biden laid out will require all private-sector firms in the United States that have 100 or more employees must ensure their staff is either fully vaccinated or being tested regularly. Biden indicated that this strategy will impact around 100 million Americans. As part of the vaccine requirement, companies must provide paid time off for their employees to get themselves vaccinated.
There are two types of Covid testing strategies: diagnostic, which is used to identify current infections, and screening, which is used to evaluate asymptomatic individuals and pool samples.
There are also two categories of tests: Antigen and PCR tests. Antigen tests are mostly used for rapid testing with results usually in under 30 minutes and are a nasal or throat swab. PCR tests also take a sample from a nose or throat swab but take more time to provide results. Standard PCR tests may take up to 7 days to return while Quality Health Care Concierge prides itself on returning results for PCR tests in as little as 5 hours!
Experts say that the new mandates aren’t likely to quickly make an impact on infection rates, but they will go a long way to mitigating future waves.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be formulating and enforcing the new requirements as they get rolled out. It’s important to distinguish that while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides guidelines, OSHA develops rules.
Many employees and job candidates are excited to get back to the office after more than a year working from home. However, it’s important that employers have a clear health and safety plan in place to answer any potential questions and allay concerns, and clearly communicate that plan. Regular temperature checks, enhanced cleaning protocols, and socially distanced cubicles are just a few of the ways that employers can demonstrate a commitment to health and safety.
According to the CDC, office buildings should be evaluated to see if they are ready for occupancy before workers come back. Prolonged facility shutdown carries its own set of hazards, such as mold growth and rodents or pests. Ventilation systems should be updated, and outdoor air circulation should be increased as much as is reasonably possible.
Employers should also identify any common areas where employees could have less than 6 feet of distance between colleagues. Entrances and exits areas, waiting rooms, and cafeterias are just a few bottleneck examples.
The vaccine and testing mandates aren’t limited to private employers. Biden announced that federal contractors and workers will also be required to be vaccinated. There will be some exemptions permitted for medical or religious reasons. It is also unclear whether Remote workers are to be counted in the threshold, how long employers must maintain vaccination records, whether a PCR or Antigen test is required, and also, will this fall on the employers to pay for the testing. One element is for sure, once OSHA kicks off with these measure (in about 90-days or so from the announcement), the fine will be $14k per violation for employers that do not follow the vaccination or covid testing for employers mandate.
President Biden urged unvaccinated adults to get the vaccine. Major companies belonging to the Consumer Brands Association asked Biden to clarify if this means workers should provide documentation showing proof of vaccination before returning to the office.
Earlier last year, American Airlines, British Airways and oneworld launched an optional COVID-19 medical-based testing trial on selected flights from the United States (US) to London Heathrow (LHR). This was done to see how COVID-19 testing can reopen international travel and remove the need for passengers to quarantine on arrival. More information on the study can be found here.
They then asked questions such as whether testings such as these would be preferential vs quarantining alongside other queries.
Eligible customers booked on flights were contacted by the airlines with instructions on how to volunteer. Each customer participating in the trial took three tests in conjunction with the journey. If a customer tested positive, they would reschedule or cancel their travel.
The first test was within 72-hours of travel (PCR test), then a rapid test after landing, and followed by another PCR test 3 to 5 days after landing.
In the trial’s first phase, just 1% of the 600 voluntary travelers who took a test within 72 hours of their departure tested positive. These folks thus did not travel, and thus were not flying while positive with Covid. Interestingly, none of the travelers who took a test upon arrival tested positive. Then only 0.4% of those that landed tested positive thereafter. More information on the results can be found here.
As is stated by the CDC, Covid can spread while in close proximity of others. Having 1% of individuals prevented from flying would minimize the spread the of the disease greatly to others traveling.
99.7% of travelers said they were happy to adhere to COVID-19 testing requirements as an alternative to quarantine after international travel and are prepared to pay for affordable testing. An interesting conclusion showing the ease of testing vs quarantine.
Quality Health Care Concierge is here to help with your Covid Testing needs! We provide concierge-style testing by sending a registered nurse to your location, then performing the test with results in as little as 10 hours. The Covid Test for Travel is painless and quick with our non-invasive updated test. Give us a call at 888-981-5595 to schedule your appointment today.
February is Cardiovascular “Heart” Awareness Month and every year, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) utilizes this time of the year to raise awareness about heart health! The institute urges Americans to reduce their risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease. This year, it is even more vital than ever, as having Heart Disease can pose a higher risk of severity of COVID-19 symptoms and disease.
What is Heart Disease?
The term “heart disease” refers to several types of heart ailments. The most common type of heart disease in the United States is Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), which affects the blood flow to the heart and inevitably the remaining of the body’s organs. Decreased blood flow can cause a heart attack with reduced oxygen and inevitably a severe cardiac malfunction.
Risk Factors for Heart Disease
– High Blood Pressure
– High Cholesterol
– Increased or high Alcohol Use
– Diabetes (Type I or II)
– Unhealthy Diet and Physical Inactivity
Symptoms of Heart Disease
Sometimes Heart Disease may be “silent” and not diagnosed until a person experiences signs or symptoms of a Heart Attack, Heart Failure, or an Arrhythmia. When these events happen, symptoms may include:
– Heart Attack: Chest pain or discomfort, upper back or neck pain, indigestion, heartburn, nausea or vomiting, extreme fatigue, upper body discomfort, dizziness, and shortness of breath.
– Arrhythmia: Fluttering feelings in the chest (palpitations).
– Heart Failure: Shortness of breath, fatigue, or swelling of the feet, ankles, legs, abdomen, or neck veins.
What does COVID-19 do to the Heart?
We’re still learning about the long-term effects of COVID-19 on our bodies. Studies are being done across the world. COVID-19 is a virus that primarily attacks the lungs. However, it can also cause your body to produce an overactive immune response which can lead to increased inflammation throughout the body and in turn affecting the heart directly. Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart) can impair the heart’s ability to pump blood and send electrical signals. Severe forms of Myocarditis can lead to more serious problems like abnormal heart rhythms, heart muscle disease, and heart failure.
Although more research needs to be done to understand the long-term effects of COVID-19 on the heart, we do know COVID-19 affects the heart in two ways:
1. It can directly cause myocarditis and blood clots
2. It can indirectly affect the heart by making existing heart conditions worse, leading to heart attacks, stroke, or sudden cardiac death
Quality Health Care Concierge takes the health and well-being of our clients very seriously! We are here to provide education, information, resources to remain healthy, and mostly our support!
During this imperative time in the history of public health, we find it vital to keep our clients and fellow friends in the know with up-to-date notice and guidance. As we find ourselves entrenched in a significant political wave of presidential changes, we still prioritize the need to provide public health facts that are vital for all people such as local allocation of vaccination opportunity. With a positive outlook, we lean on public officials such as the governor to lead the way in making sound decisions in public health safety by bringing the vaccines local to your neighborhoods.
Ron DeSantis, Governor of the State of Florida, made a public announcement this week, that all Publix supermarkets in Palm Beach County are now offering those, who qualify, an opportunity to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Before you do this, it is recommended that you speak with your physician or healthcare provider prior to scheduling an appointment. The link to the Publix COVID-19 vaccine webpage is https://www.publix.com/covid-vaccine/florida and you must make an appointment to be seen.
As Shawn Klyachman (featured left), Pharmacist at Publix Super Markets said earlier this week after beginning to administer the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine; “[I’m] Proud to be part of such a tremendous company, team, and profession. Honored to be fulfilling my oath as a pharmacist and being part of the solution”.
To receive the vaccine, you must fit into one or more of these three criteria and also a Florida resident:
Even though a vaccine has been developed and is being administered, we must continue to remain diligent in health efforts, safe and to protect ourselves from others, especially those who feel unwell. This means wearing a mask in public, social distancing from others by at least six feet, washing your hands frequently, and being mindful of yourself and those around you.
Organizations, groups, and businesses countrywide are encouraging everyone to get the COVID-19 vaccine, some do that simply by educating and informing, but one organization decided to encourage another way. Although not in the great State of Florida, a creative yet controversial campaign in Washington D.C has stemmed from a group called DC Marijuana Justice. Their group is dedicated to “fighting for equal rights for cannabis users, growers, and their families.” The campaign is aimed to dispense free marijuana to those who obtain their vaccination: advertised as “Joints for Jabs.”
In Palm Beach County, there are “67 Publix pharmacies in Palm Beach County will have the vaccine” and a total of “220 Publix pharmacies across 17 Florida counties.” – DeSantis
Instead of waiting on a long line to get a COVID test, Quality Health Care Concierge is able to assist by sending a Registered Nurse to your home, office, or location of choice to conduct a Private Mobile Rapid COVID Test in the South Florida area.
Updated January 27th, 2021:
In a County Commission meeting on Tuesday the 26th, Dr. Alina Alonso confirmed that Publix will, as soon as early February, be the sole distributor for COVID-19 vaccines in Palm Beach County. With an estimated 90% of the county’s 400k senior citizens living within 1 1/2 miles of Publix, this will allow for Publix to be the mass distributor without having the County continue in building the distribution channel. It’s important to note that Palm Beach Commissioners have expressed their frustration and are planning to write a letter to DeSantis urging him to reconsider this decision.
As a previous New York resident, Michelle Kavall RN MSN the President at Quality Health Care Concierge knows that you’re making the right choice to move down south to Florida! We welcome you with open arms and are ready to support you every step of the way during what’s know as “snowbird season”! A fun way of saying it’s just too cold up north.
Quality Health Care Concierge provides in-home care services for adults, seniors, and all individuals who need assistance to remain independent and prefer to stay at the comfort of their own home.
Our Certified Nursing Assistants and our Certified Home Health Care Aides help your loved ones remain at home for as long as safely possible, a dream come true for many. Our holistic caregivers have many goals: Enriching the lives of our clients and their families, well-being, and comfort, holistic healthcare modalities, holistic education, safety, and security as they continue to live independently. Our caregivers provide seniors the freedom despite limited mobility, chronic conditions, and other age-related considerations with providing a strong sense of health and wellness.
In South Florida annually, beginning in late October running through May, our Snowbirds migrate down from the north to escape the brutal cold winters and now fears of infection of COVID-19. Quality Health Care Concierge is your highly trusted companion for your parents and/or grandparents coming to South Florida. We’re here to help whether it be seasonally or simply moving down for retirement. We specialize in providing trusted care services to all of our Snowbirds, In-Home Companion Services on a full-time or part-time basis with many options of customization of care needs to assure that everyone’s needs are specifically met at all times. We provide extra support to families who are don’t live near by or want regular updates. We completely understand and are ready to be here for you and your family!
Interestingly enough, those visiting will be allowed to attain COVID-19 Vaccinations: More information can be found here. It’s vital that you get tested, especially if coming down to a different state. Instead of waiting on a long line to get a COVID test, Quality Health Care Concierge is able to assist by sending a Registered Nurse to your home, office, or location of choice to conduct a Private Mobile Rapid COVID Test in the South Florida area.
Remember, wintering in warmer climates is not the same as a vacation! Give Quality Health Care Concierge a call at 888-981-5595 today.
Many experts are saying that isolation and loneliness for the elderly during the COVID-19 pandemic may begin to exhibit signs of dementia. Social isolation for the elderly can lead to more memory loss and cognitive issues. “We know people who are getting old, if they’re isolated or socially less stimulated, they tend to develop dementia earlier than others,” says behavioral neurologist Borna Bonakdarpour, an assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a Northwestern Medicine physician.
If someone is developing early signs of Alzheimers, they may already have particular risk factors for dementia such as loneliness. It can present as the subjective feeling of distress due to social distancing. Although most elders understand the physical risks associated with being in public at this time, they still cant help but have those feelings of being forced to be alone in their homes. It can actually have physical repercussions on people such as high blood pressure or a weakened immune system. Ofcourse, loneliness can also bring up feelings of suicidal thoughts, which has been shown to increase during the COVID pandemic as well. Some research experts even say that loneliness may result in cognitive decline in the elderly.
Quality Health Care Concierge may provide essential assistance to the elderly and other individuals who are feeling loneliness due to social isolation during the pandemic. We provide compassionate companion care and are practice the safety necessary in today’s times! All companions entering one’s home are equipped with the appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and required to perform safe practices to assure our clients are both feeling safe and at a highly decreased risk of any infection in their homes. Quality Health Care Concierge praises safe practices and increased cognitive function for clients as they are very well known in the community for their holistic care mission.
It’s vital for all to be tested for COVID even if not living an active lifestyle outside of ones home as it assists with understanding and planning for the future. Instead of waiting on a long line to get a COVID test, Quality Health Care Concierge is able to assist by sending a Registered Nurse to your home, office, or location of choice to conduct a Private Mobile Rapid COVID Test in the South Florida area.
As we all are aware, the current rate of rise in positive Florida COVID-19 cases has become faster than ever. It is highly important that all people stay informed, practice safe distancing, and practice common sharing of goals to move out of this state of unhealthy growth in disease throughout the United States. As we move forward, the home health care industry strives to move to the top of all healthcare providers that take reduction of disease very seriously and recognized as a significant entity in prevention of disease in the healthcare realm.
“We are now having 40-plus thousand new cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around and so I am very concerned,” Fauci told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee during a hearing on the pandemic as the US reported more than 50,000 new Covid-19 cases. As of today, Florida has over 370,000 confirmed cases with more than 5,000 confirmed deaths; Palm Beach having about 27,000 confirmed cases and 700 deaths. More information can be found at this handy unofficial Florida COVID dashboard.
So, how do we move forward safely and help prevent disease spread? Fauci and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield stressed the significance of wearing masks during testimony before a Senate committee earlier this month, with Fauci saying “we recommend masks for everyone” and “masks are extremely important.” In home health care and with Quality Health Care Concierge, we take part in the ultimate prevention by providing exceptional quality companion care with a high retention rate of caregivers who are compassionate, trust-worthy, well-educated and trained, and provide specialized care in the comfort of the client’s homes. They are always providing all care needs with the proper personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves, and even gowns. All private caregivers from Quality Health Care Concierge are very careful in helping their clients remain safe by running errands, personal care, pet care, and even assist with increasing mental health needs through providing holistic care support and truly caring about their client’s needs.
It’s important to stay safe and diligent as each person makes decisions that influence the community. Instead of waiting on a long line to get a COVID test, Quality Health Care Concierge is able to assist by sending a Registered Nurse to your home, office, or location of choice to conduct a Private Mobile Rapid COVID Test in the South Florida area.
In turbulent times, health care providers and home care agencies are all rolling up their sleeves to put in a helping hand. Agencies are wondering how they can be of assistance to society and to their clients while keeping everyone safe and virus free! They are also working together to keep consistency in safety precautions in the home, in the work environment, and furthering within the society. There is an imminent need to assure that all people are given the opportunity to continue to work, and to continue to safely provide services in people’s homes.
Quality Health Care Concierge takes pride in ensuring they are making the right choices in continuing to hire compassionate caregivers that are sure to take standard precautions in the home. The newly enhanced standard precautions include washing hands, wearing masks, keeping to over 6 feet of distance between people, wearing gowns if necessary and much more. All caregivers are required to go through a thorough training on patient safety and cleanliness in the home.
Just as importantly, Quality Health Care Concierge is hiring compassionate caregivers at the quickest rate they ever have! All caregivers are interviewed through phone and video calls. These caregivers are hired through the same vigorous interviewing process as prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. They are required to have fingerprints completed prior to working with Quality Health Care Concierge to assure that the level II background screening is completed. All caregivers are required to undergo a Virtual Orientation and attest to understanding and completing the required caregiver training in order to report to work. Quality Health Care Concierge prioritizes the health safety of both their hired caregivers and all of their clients.