As most of you are now probably aware, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have both officially recommended that adolescents ages 12 to 15 years old get vaccinated against COVID-19 using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. In addition, CDC has updated its clinical guidance to allow coadministration of COVID-19 vaccines at the same time as, or close in timing to, other routine vaccines in adolescents instead of waiting the previously recommended 2 week interval between vaccines.
Bethesda Pediatrics fully endorses this guidance for our patients as well. As previously posted, we are already registered as a designated Covid-19 vaccine administration center and would love to provide this service to our families, but we have still not been given any timeline from the state as to when we might receive vaccine stock for our office. Please utilize the state-run vaccine clinics and private pharmacies in the interim.
Most people are also aware that CDC has recently relaxed guidelines about mask wearing for fully vaccinated people. Since the majority of our patient population is still too young to be vaccinated, face coverings are still required at all times in our office for all parents and children 2 years and older. To protect our younger patients, please also continue to follow standard social distancing guidelines and help your children maintain a 6 foot distance from our other clients.
One office policy we are pleased to change is that both parents, if fully vaccinated, are now welcome to attend all routine office visits! We still request that siblings remain at home as much as possible, but we are no longer limiting families to have only one parent present with their child. Many thanks to our families for having been so understanding of our office protocols throughout the pandemic!