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Dr. D’s Medical Update

When I prepare these articles, I often look back to past issues to get ideas for the coming month’s topics. This month, I looked back at 2019 and read the hopefulness we had for the coming year and I introduced you to our staff. Last year, I looked back at our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, lamented all of the losses we experienced, and looked ahead to the coming vaccines.

This December, I would like to look back at 2021 and provide an update with what we know, at this moment, about the COVID pandemic. San Antonio has done a pretty good job getting our citizens vaccinated. We are ahead of the Texas average for the fully vaccinated and, as of this writing, a little over 95% of our population over 18 having received at least one vaccine dose.

I would still encourage anyone who hasn’t received a COVID vaccination to begin the process. For those who haven’t received their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, please go get the second shot. All adults are now eligible for a third, booster, dose. If it has been 6 months since your last vaccine dose, you are eligible for a booster. We know that immunity decreases over time after vaccination, so the boosters are important. Even after having had a COVID infection, vaccination is important. Natural immunity after infection does also decrease over time. Just because someone survived COVID once, is no guarantee that they will survive another infection.

For most of 2021, we dealt with the effects of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus. The Delta variant caused the spike in cases and deaths we saw over this past summer. Since then, cases have dropped in San Antonio and life has been feeling a little more normal. Now, the news if full of stories about the Omicron variant. We know that this variant has been around and there are now cases in the United States. There is much more we don’t know at this time. We don’t know if this variant causes severe illness. We also don’t yet know which vaccine will be better to prevent it.

What we do know is that we should be doing the same things to keep our COVID case numbers low. Getting vaccinated is still recommended now for everyone over 5 years old. If you’ve received 2 doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, it is encouraged that you receive a booster. If you received a Johnson and Johnson vaccine, it is also recommended that you receive a booster. Talk with your doctor about which booster will be best for you. It is still important to wash our hands and wear a mask when around others.

The staff of our Holy Cross clinic wishes you and your families a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and a wonderful holiday season.

Michael Dominguez, MD, FAAFP is board certified in Family Medicine. His office is located at HealthTexas Primary Care Doctors, 590 N. General McMullen, 78228, phone: 210-249-0212.