Originally Posted on May 21, 2021 – You may have heard that all RCAM Pediatricians enthusiastically endorse the COVID-19 Vaccination for all eligible patients, but have you heard this:
RCAM is now scheduling COVID-19 Vaccination for all of our patients 12 years old and up.
Some important details:
The Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine has been approved for adolescents 12 years old and up.
We will administer the vaccine at appointments designated for vaccine only. We will be unable to add a COVID-19 Vaccine to any other type of visit.
You may call to schedule your child’s COVID-19 Vaccination appointment beginning today, Friday, May 21st.
Our schedulers can only take calls for these appointments on weekdays during regular business hours. Please do not call on the weekend to schedule vaccination appointments.
The Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine has shown to be very effective after completing two (2) doses separated by 21 days. When you call to schedule, we will require setting dates for both doses.
You may have read that this vaccine has some very specific storage requirements. For that reason, we will not be scheduling any drive thru vaccine clinics (it saddens me to write that – stay tuned). Each appointment will be indoors at our Duraleigh office (follow the signs to our backdoor entrance).
As vaccination rates have gone up, it has been exciting to see cases go down.
“The AAP recommends adolescents ages 12 and older get vaccinated against COVID-19 now that federal health officials have signed off on the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for these ages.”
You can add the pediatricians at Raleigh Children & Adolescents Medicine as enthusiastically supporting this recommendation.
Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Coming to RCAM in June
We anticipate having the necessary approvals and logistics together by June to begin vaccinations in our office (it’s a real process).
IMPORTANT NOTE: We are currently not scheduling patients until more details have been finalized (we will post here when we begin to schedule those visits).
Due to the ultra-cold storage requirements for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, it appears we will only be offering the vaccine at appointments specifically designated ‘COVID Vaccine only’ and will not be able to offer it during other visits.
More details to come…
RCAM Enthusiastically Endorses Vaccination Against COVID-19
The pediatricians at RCAM have been asked quite a bit, “Do you recommend getting the COVID Vaccine for yourself? …for your children? …for you patients?”
Here are some of the ways I have responded to that question (different answers, same conclusion):
Short answer: “YES!”
Less short answer (I call this my ‘sound bite’ answer because it is brief but also speaks to weighing the pros and cons with the decision to vaccinate): “I trust the COVID-19 Vaccine much more than I trust the COVID-19 virus, so ‘yes’ – I recommend everyone who is eligible to get the COVID Vaccine.”
Longer answer link (some of you are into that): here (general info), here (videos from Paul Offit, MD of Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia), here (safety)
Most convincing answer (for me): “Every pediatrician at RCAM – every pediatrician I know – each one works everyday on the front lines of taking care of children – each one are so convinced that without hesitation they received the COVID Vaccine for themselves (I witnessed a few crying not from the pain of the shot but from the joy of being able to avoid a terrible virus), recommend it to others, and are currently planning vaccination for their own children as it comes available. That confirms to me everything I need to know.”
Places to get COVID-19 Vaccine Now
I don’t blame you for not wanting to wait. I’m not waiting. My 14-year-old is scheduled to get her first dose of COVID Vaccine today at Walgreens.
The CDC website has so much good information (It is a good place to start for all things COVID).
They have a good summary on CDC.gov of where you can find the vaccine (here).
The most practical option I have used myself: text your ZIP code to 438829 and you pretty immediately get a listing of who is offering COVID Vaccine in your area.
September 28, 2020 – If anyone ever tells you that moving a vaccine clinic outdoors is no big deal, remember these words:
RCAM moved its flu vaccine clinic outdoors this week, and it was a big deal.
Since March, our experience with the coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic made clear the need to decrease everyone’s risk – risks to our patients as well as to our staff.
With that goal in mind, we made plans to safely dispense something else that decreases our collective health risk: the flu (influenza) vaccine.
After months of planning, this week saw the very first RCAM Flu Vaccine Drive Thru.
Tireless work from some of our best made this possible. Kudos to Office Manager Brian, Administrative Office Manager Theresa, Head Nurse Amanda, nurses Kathy and Megan, and Dr. Meares.
Some Pictures (and One Video):
↓ This past Saturday was like driving South on Six Forks Road with three lanes going strong
↓ Saturday’s three lane clinic crew was all business
↓ Sunday and the one lane setup (Drive thru rule: you can never have too many traffic cones)
↓ Sunday’s crew wanted to prove to Dr. Meares that they could get it all on one cart (Krispy Kreme donuts – sadly – are not an official Flu Vaccine Drive Thru item and therefore were not required to fit on the cart)
↓ A word from our sponsor… (made possible by Emily and an anonymous sidewalk chalk novice)
If your appointment is at the Duraleigh office, a nurse will speak to you by phone while you are still in the parking lot to confirm that no symptoms of illness are present; if any symptoms are present or there has been a significant exposure, your appointment will need to be rescheduled
At both offices, another phone call will let you know that a nurse is ready to greet you at the office and take you to an exam room
Somethings haven’t changed
The number to call is still 919-781-7490
Routine requests are still handled weekdays between 8am and 5pm
Urgent needs on evenings, weekends and holidays are still managed by our On Call Team
April 8, 2020 – Spring began a few weeks ago and – particularly after this past weekend – it became clear it was time to say Goodbye to Three Girls on a Sled whose carefree ride in the snow takes us back to a time before we had ever thought much about coronavirus and COVID was NO-VID.
Typically, our spring banner includes outdoor, spring activities (duh), but Young Girl and Online School seemed – given our present circumstances – to be a better fit.
[Aside: Of course, if your home is more like mine, this picture would need to include another, younger sister and some dispute about one of them “breathing too loud” and a father – numb to the sibling conflict – working feverishly to be sure the WiFi will produce enough bandwith for school and his office’s Zoom meeting that is scheduled to begin now.]
If you had some pressing things you wanted to discuss at a well visit that is on the delayed list, consider scheduling a TeleHealth visit (see below)
All sick child care was moved to the Brier Creek office – with a few twists:
Twist #1 – Curbside clinic was initiated for children with symptoms suspicious of possible coronavirus
Twist #2 – TeleHealth visits are becoming our new normal as a way to safely evaluate patients without the fear of increasing potential exposures
All RCAM staff are now wearing masks and gloves – at both offices – add to that lots of hand washing and not touching your face and cleaning rooms after every patient
All of these changes were made to be as safe as possible yet still available to our patient families, to reduce exposures, and to slow the spread of coronavirus / COVID-19.
TeleHealth Visits have some limits though I am surprised at how typically they can identify something treatable or rule out the need to come to our office or the Urgent Care or the Emergency Department.
He hit the ground running. Brian would probably describe it more like a chase – as in it felt like he was being chased by a lion – as his first week on the job was highlighted by a pandemic.
Brian has been great. More about him later, but it is about time we introduced him to our extended RCAM-ily.
If you see someone in our office wearing a tie that doesn’t feature Sponge Bob (Dr. Sena) – that is more than likely Brian – give him a big Hello and Welcome.
Given the circumstances of his first month, he could probably use the encouragement.
I am sure that everyone could use some encouragement.
The response of our administrative staff and nurses has been spectacular. The general day-to-day pressure on a pediatric staff is underrated, and now they quite suddenly have found themselves on one of the front lines of a pandemic.
They have handled some tough circumstances with a lot of grace and professionalism.
As pediatricians, we’ve had to work together even more than we usually do – Zoom meeting almost daily – making new plans and changing protocols that we just wrote. We have found another gear with how we work with and relate to one another and personally that has been great.
Patients and their families have even asked if they can help.
We have been gifted at least one box of N95 masks and numerous homemade masks.
Finally, the Raleigh pediatric medical community really stepped up. Specifically, Oberlin Road Pediatrics and Carolina Kids Pediatrics both sought us out directly. As it turns out, we didn’t need the help, but it meant a lot to hear from them, and we hope to return the favor sometime.
That’s how we’re all going to get through this – finding ways to help each other out.
Epilogue: Somewhat Related
For anyone still reading this, I had this post all ready to go late Sunday night.
I saved it to my computer and walked upstairs to say good night to my daughters.
When I returned, my screen looked entirely different.There were characters I had never seen before – and about 80% of my original post was completely gone. I tried to pull up the post I had saved, yet somehow that had been updated to the now-80%-gone post.
Sitting two feet away from me was the cause: Buddy, our orange tabby cat.
He has a penchant for getting comfortable in odd places – for example, he loves climbing and lying on top of backpacks.
He is also well known in our house – as pictured here in what I call “Exhibit A” – for getting comfortable on my computer keyboard.
The post finally got done and I believe I have been forgiven for the words that came out of my mouth that night.
Happy Easter to everyone!
Try to enjoy what you can about being locked down with people who are likely pretty important to you – and try to ignore all of their loud breathing.
“CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.”
We wish our office could offer all patients a mask but supplies are limited. Therefore,,,,
…RCAM is asking families who come into our office to bring their own masks if at all possible.
There is a lot of information available online about how to make and use a mask.