Romano Law Nurse Corner COVID-19 #46 - Prevention and Vaccine Updates

Serving nearby areas by Palm Beach and West Palm Beach, Florida

Romano Law Nurse Corner COVID-19 #46

Prevention and Vaccine Updates

 

We are now at almost 103 million global cases of COVID-19. The United States has over 26 million cases with over 440,000 deaths.  These numbers are staggering. This is the reality of this pandemic.  While vaccine distribution continues to be frustrating, disorganized and random, we are beginning to see the faint light at the end of the tunnel and it does not appear to be another freight train.   

The CDC issued an order last week that requires people to wear a mask when using any form of public transportation.  They also said that transportation operators must use best efforts to enforce the mask mandate, which includes refusing entrance to people who refuse to comply.  It is important to note that this order applies to all travelers, including those who have had COVID-19 or have a vaccine.  Other than places operated by the Department of Defense, this order applies to all U.S. transportation hubs. 

On the horizon is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, whose phase 3 trials have shown it to be 66% effective in preventing moderate and severe disease and 85% effective against severe disease. While these numbers are a bit lower than the current Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, at approximately 95% effective against2 all disease, experts still believe it will be useful against the pandemic worldwide. 

Dr. Fauci explained that it will help alleviate stress on our healthcare system which he emphasizes is extremely important. He explains that if you can prevent severe disease in a high percentage of individuals, it will alleviate much of the human suffering and death. An inexpensive single dose vaccine with no cold chain requirements is still good news.

While it might seem like there would not be a market for a vaccine that is significantly less effective than others already available, Dr. Paul Offit, a vaccine expert at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, said that things are different.  He says these are not normal times, with a pandemic raging and shortage of vaccines.

Both Moderna and Pfizer use genetic messenger RNA technology, which we have discussed in prior blogs.  The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a common cold virus, called an adenovirus, to carry genetic instructions into the body to prompt an immune response, but does not replicate in the body. The vaccine prompts the muscle cells in the arm to produce these pieces of spike protein. The immune system recognizes them as foreign and builds a defense, so when a real virus tries to infect cells, the body is ready to fight it off.

Dr. Offit says in a better world, we would have abundant quantities of this messenger RNA vaccine, Pfizer and Moderna, and that would be damning for a vaccine that's clearly less effective. But that said, we have limited quantities of mRNA vaccine. 

The United States federal government has contracted to buy 100 million doses of the vaccine which they expect to be delivered by June. Johnson & Johnson says it is on track to produce a billion doses worldwide. Johnson & Johnson is expected to apply to the EUA from the FDA this week. 

Experiences on the front line this week:

Publix made “improvements” to their system this past week, however the stories of attempts to secure appointments continue to show many people frustrated and unable to get their appointments. The latest updates to the vaccination registration page added a countdown clock that shows each time the page will refresh and a count of available appointments in each county. Despite these changes, seniors are frustrated.

Publix is considering adding phone lines to help seniors without computers or without the skills needed to navigate the site.  Publix is also considering offering later appointments, however how long it will take to implement these changes remains to be seen. 

Due to the controversy and outcry about lack of access to vaccines in Palm Beach County last week, particularly in poorer areas of the county, it was announced this weekend that the Department of Health will receive 5,000 additional doses of vaccine next week, allocated to communities that don’t have a Publix Pharmacy.  This is fantastic news and hopefully another volunteer opportunity for us!! 

One thing is for sure.  We need to see more vaccines getting into arms than seems to be happening right now.  In our latest volunteering activity at the Martin County Health Department in Stuart, we saw about 100 people at our station (3 volunteers, a retired nurse, a retired APRN and a retired physician) alone.  Lots of other volunteers were present and willing to continue to serve their communities-it so EXCITING!!     

State-wide Registration:

The state of Florida has launched a website for pre-registration to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. However, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Okeechobee Counties have said they will not be opting-in to the website at this time. https://myvaccine.fl.gov/

Alternately, those without internet access can call the numbers below:

Palm Beach County: 866-201-6754
Martin County: 866-201-7037
St. Lucie County: 866-201-7094
Indian River County: 866-201-4044
Okeechobee County: 866-201-1060

For the phone number for other counties, see attached phone list.

 

 

Florida Preregistration System Toll Free Numbers

 

 

COUNTY

SCHEDULING

TTY

Alachua

866-200-3488

833-476-1038

Baker

866-200-3574

833-476-1446

Bay

866-201-0712

833-476-1462

Bradford

866-201-1018

833-476-1463

Brevard

866-201-5420

833-476-1525

Broward

866-201-6313

844-252-2003

Calhoun

866-200-8849

833-476-1521

Charlotte

866-200-9160

833-990-3549

Citrus

866-201-0442

833-476-1036

Clay

866-201-4706

833-476-1037

Collier

866-201-4885

833-990-3490

Columbia

866-201-7001

833-990-3545

DeSoto

866-201-7013

833-476-1026

Dixie

866-200-3740

833-476-1460

Duval

866-200-3762

833-476-1027

Escambia

866-201-1025

833-476-1461

Flagler

866-201-1541

833-476-1450

Franklin

866-201-2356

833-476-1522

Gadsden

866-201-6388

833-476-1451

Gilchrist

866-201-6555

833-476-1523

Glades

866-201-6695

833-476-1524

Gulf

866-200-3784

833-990-3546

Hamilton

866-200-3793

833-990-3547

Hardee

866-201-3158

833-476-1466

Hendry

866-201-6745

833-990-3548

Hernando

866-201-6750

833-476-1028

Highlands

866-200-3858

833-476-1513

Hillsborough

866-200-3896

844-251-5532

Holmes

866-201-3925

833-476-1030

Indian River

866-201-4044

833-476-1514

Jackson

866-201-4069

833-476-1529

Jefferson

866-201-6808

833-476-1530

Lafayette

866-201-6828

833-476-1531

Lake

866-201-6909

833-476-1031

Lee

866-200-3468

855-665-6608

Leon

866-200-3856

833-476-1455

Levy

866-200-9610

833-476-1453

Liberty

866-201-3656

833-476-1456

Madison

866-201-4940

833-476-1517

Manatee

866-201-5412

833-476-1518

Marion

866-201-6768

833-476-1519

Martin

866-201-7037

833-990-2881

Miami-Dade

888-499-0840

888-256-8918

Monroe

866-201-7069

833-990-2908

Nassau

866-200-3576

833-476-1515

Okaloosa

866-200-3599

833-990-3450

 

 

Okeechobee

866-201-1060

833-476-1023

Orange

866-201-3604

833-476-1024

Osceola

866-201-6507

833-476-1516

Palm Beach

866-201-6754

833-476-1532

Pasco

866-201-7092

833-990-1527

Pinellas

866-201-7113

833-476-1025

Polk

866-201-7132

833-476-1033

Putnam

866-201-7193

833-476-1447

St. Johns

866-201-7268

833-476-1448

St. Lucie

866-201-7094

833-476-1034

Santa Rosa

866-201-7110

833-476-1035

Sarasota

866-201-7170

833-476-1449

Seminole

866-201-7180

833-476-1464

Sumter

866-201-7196

833-476-1457

Suwannee

866-201-7197

833-476-1458

Taylor

866-201-7235

833-476-1465

Union

866-201-7267

833-476-1527

Volusia

866-201-7314

833-476-1459

Wakulla

866-201-7331

833-476-1528

Walton

866-201-3054

833-476-1520

Washington

866-200-3802

844-249-6771

 

We continue to wear our masks and socially distance to protect our fellow human beings and ourselves. We ask that everyone do the same. 

PLEASE STAY SAFE!

We are Susan Ramsey and Amie Goldberg, both practicing attorneys and nurses here at the Romano Law Group.  Here is a little more about each of us:

Susan

Susan Ramsey is both an attorney and an RN. Ms. Ramsey’s professional experience began as a Registered Nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at Yale New Haven Hospital. While pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree, she was a counselor with the New Haven Rape Crisis Program. During her time with the Program, Ms. Ramsey counseled sexual assault survivors and performed seminars for local police departments, universities, and high schools. During her time working as a registered nurse, Ms. Ramsey decided to attend law school. Ms. Ramsey graduated from CUNY Law School, and has practiced law in several different State and Federal Courts.  She is a Florida Heath Care Risk Manager and a member of the Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force.  Ms. Ramsey actively litigates cases involving catastrophic injuries and wrongful death on behalf of survivors, cases include injuries suffered by victims of professional negligence, product liability and medical negligence.

Amie 

Amie Goldberg is both an attorney and a certified APRN.  After completing a Bachelor of Arts Degree at Whittier College, Ms. Goldberg attended nursing school at Emory University.  Ms. Goldberg’s professional experience started as a Registered Nurse at Egleston Children’s Hospital taking care of children with congenital heart disease. After a few years, she continued working in all areas of the hospital while attending Kennesaw State University on weekends in order to get her Master’s Degree in Nursing with a specialty of Primary Care Nurse Practitioner/Family Nurse Practitioner.  During her time as an APRN, Ms. Goldberg decided to attend law school at St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida.   Since graduating, she has mainly practiced in the areas of personal injury and worker’s compensation, fighting for the rights of injured people. Since joining the Romano Law Group, Ms. Goldberg has been the Director of the Opioid Litigation Project.  Ms. Goldberg also practices in the area of medical malpractice and nursing home negligence, bringing an inside perspective and knowledge to help get justice for our clients. 

Stay Safe,

Susan

Amie

 

Sources:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/29/health/johnson-coronavirus-vaccine-results/index.html

https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

https://www.palmbeachpost.com/story/news/2021/01/28/publix-making-changes-online-covid-vaccine-appointments-florida/4291176001/

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/palm-beach/fl-ne-pbc-vaccine-glades-20210129-tkzkpdiujnaghoek6gnac7n5z4-story.html