January 27th, 2021
Dear Clinic Members,
This week we are continuing our vaccination efforts. As you have likely seen in the news, the rollout of the vaccines has been less than ideal, and this has certainly challenged our ability to provide vaccinations in a timely and efficient manner. In spite of this, we remain committed to providing vaccination, within the state’s prioritization guidelines, for all of our patients. We deeply appreciate your patience and understanding. It has also been gratifying to be recognized in the Bainbridge Review and the Seattle Times for our efforts.
Dr. Crandell and all staff members have now had both doses of the Moderna vaccine, and we appreciate the sense of protection that this has given us as we continue to work with patients on their regular medical care in addition to providing the “Fauci ouchies”. We feel confident in the safety of the vaccines and hope that all of our patients will choose to be vaccinated when their opportunity arises.
While we had initially envisioned being the vaccine provider for all of our patients, the complications around the vaccine rollout have been a barrier to doing so. We hope that the coming days bring clarity and consistency on our own vaccine supply at Member Plus Family Health, but patients who do have an opportunity to get the vaccine elsewhere should take advantage of it. The priority is to get the maximum number of folks vaccinated in the shortest possible time, by whatever means we can.
We are very concerned by the emergence of evolving Covid19 strains that spread much more easily than the original. We have seen the first confirmed cases of the so-called UK variant (B.1.1.7) in Washington State this past week, and experts believe that there is more of this variant circulating than has been confirmed. Preliminary statistics out of the UK this weekend are pointing to a higher rate of severe illness and death than we have seen with the present strains. These newer strains introduce the potential for many more infections, as well as more severe infections. The importance of social distancing, mask-wearing, etc., is even more critical in light of these new strains. We must not let our guard down.
We are also feeling concern about the return of Bainbridge School District students to in-person learning prior to vaccination of district staff. We believe that getting our kids back into the classrooms should be among our top priorities. In order for this to be done more safely the entire community must continue to act in ways that help to limit spread of the coronavirus elsewhere.
We will continue to provide updates as we receive more information.
Dr. Crandell and Staff