As the United States continues to struggle with the COVID-19 Pandemic, the only hope I see for returning to a safer existence is through vaccination. Each time the virus duplicates itself is a chance for it to mutate into a more dangerous variant. The sooner person to person transmission is stopped, the sooner the pandemic will be over. To stop the variants, as many people as possible -world wide- need vaccination.

One of the questions that has been asked of clients visiting our behavior health department is: “What will it take to return to normal?”

The answer, I think, is obvious: Be Vaccinated!

The CDC has already stated groups of people that have all been vaccinated can meet indoors without masks. Fully vaccinated individuals can visit children and grandchildren without a mask if the household has a low risk for serious disease. Also, if you are fully vaccinated and then have contact with a person with COVID, no quarantine or Covid testing is needed.

All three of the available vaccines are much safer than getting COVID-19. Severe reactions seem to be less than 1 per 500,000 people.

Help yourself and everyone else by getting vaccinated as soon as you are able.
Sign up at: covidvax.maryland.gov or 1-855-MD-GOVAX (1-855-634-6829)

– Wayne Bierbaum, MD BCH Chief Medical Officer

COVID-19 Vaccine
The COVID-19 vaccines are finally starting to be administered throughout the US and the world. We have continued to get a lot of questions about the vaccine and its availability. We will do our very best to answer some of the most common questions we have received.

BCH strongly encourages every able person to get the vaccine.

There is no component of the vaccine that will interact with other medications. You cannot have the COVID Vaccine within 14 days of receiving another vaccination and you cannot be vaccinated at this time if you have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days.

We have received a very limited number of the Moderna vaccine and will be able to vaccinate some of our patients. We will be contacting patients in the approved Phases to schedule appointments based upon vaccine availability. Patients must meet the eligibility requirements to be vaccinated and will be pre-screened prior to their appointment.

If you have had an anaphylactic reaction to other medicines, there is a very rare chance the vaccine will cause the same reaction and you need to be monitored for 30 minutes after the vaccination. Otherwise, you will be monitored for 15 minutes. A second vaccine will be due in 28 days and an appointment will be scheduled upon receiving your first vaccine.

Below are links to some local counties websites to get more information:

Retail pharmacies are also getting and administering the vaccine. Click the link below to locate a vaccination site near you.

It will still be important to continue to wear masks, use good hand hygiene and practice social distancing even after you receive the vaccine.

Getting the vaccine is a first step but it will be important to stay vigilant in protecting yourself and your loved ones even after getting the vaccine. You may still be able to be a carrier of the virus even after you are vaccinated.

We will continue to provide updates as we have them. Please check our website and the county websites for additional information as well. Stay safe and healthy!

As always, thank you for trusting us with your healthcare.

Sincerely,

Why is Wearing a Mask So Important?

The short answer is, wearing a mask can protect you and those around you.

We Strongly Encourage Wearing a Mask

Masks made of certain materials can act as a barrier for the tiny droplets that come from our noses and mouths when we talk and breathe. Those tiny droplets can spread COVID-19 from person to person. Certain masks effectively block these droplets from traveling, and thus slow the spread.

Therefore, we strongly encourage wearing a mask in public and around those who do not live in your household. A mask should also be worn if you are sick or if you are caring for someone who is sick, regardless of whether they live with you or not.

Which Mask Should You Wear

Over the course of the pandemic, there has been much conversation about which mask is the better mask. Here are those proven most effective.

Children under the age of 2 are not encouraged to wear masks.

Tips for Wearing a Mask
Correctly

Masks can only provide protection when they are worn properly.

  • Wash or sanitize your hands before putting on your mask
  • Make sure your mask is always clean and dry
  • If you must frequently adjust or fix your masks, it may be too small or too large. Consider a different mask if available.

Tips for Proper Handwashing

Keeping your hands clean is of upmost importance. It helps stop the spread of germs and ultimately helps avoid the spread of illnesses. There are five easy steps to remember when washing your hands.

Turn on the faucet and wet your hands
Use soap and work up a good lather
Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds
Completely rinse off all soap
Leave the faucet on, dry your hands with a paper towel, then turn off the faucet with the towel
For more COVID-19 prevention tips and information about COVID-19 visit the following websites: