Important COVID-19 & Vaccine Update

November 30, 2021

COVID-19 VACCINE UPDATE

This update represents Salina Family Healthcare Center’s understanding of the current situation related to COVID-19 vaccination. 

  1. COVID-19 vaccine is now widely available in many different venues.  Saline County is currently vaccinating all those eligible – those 5+ years of age.  Now is the time to schedule your shot if you are 5 years or older!  Pfizer is indicated for those 5+ years of age.  Moderna and J&J are indicated for those 18+ years of age. 
  2. If you are a patient of Salina Family Healthcare Center, or do not have a medical home, call 785-825-7251 to schedule your vaccine appointment at Salina Family.  SFHC is currently giving Moderna and J&J to those 18+ years of age and Pfizer to those 5+ years of age. Pfizer for those 5-11 years of age is still in limited supply.  Call SFHC to express interest in getting a child vaccinated and to gather the latest information on vaccine availability.
  3. Local pharmacies and medical clinics, including Salina Family Healthcare Center, have vaccine available and have their own scheduling websites and/or phone numbers. Click here to see all vaccine providers in your area.
  4. Current evidence shows that the vaccines are still highly effective against variants. Concern about variants that escape the reach of our vaccines is actually one of THE BIGGEST REASONS to get vaccinated. Failure to vaccinate now leads to space for the virus to spread and mutate. Widespread vaccination stops the mutations.
  5. BOOSTER AND ADDITIONAL DOSE SHOTS: SFHC is now offering booster shots for Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J per CDC and FDA guidance and additional dose shots for those with moderate to severe immunocompromised states for Pfizer and Moderna.  Everyone 18+ years of age are now eligible.
  6. MIX AND MATCH BOOSTERS:  The FDA and CDC have approved the option of switching from one COVID-19 vaccine to another for boosters.  Ask your healthcare provider for guidance on whether you should consider this option.
  7. SFHC HIGHLY RECOMMENDS BOOSTER SHOTS FOR ALL PATIENTS 65 YEARS AND OLDER.
Vaccine Finder

GENERAL COVID-19 UPDATES

Salina and the surrounding areas are currently seeing a high, sustained level of COVID-19 cases. Hospitalizations are at a high, sustained level.  Failure to vaccinate is your biggest risk to getting seriously ill from the variant.  Now is the time for continued diligence with public health guidance as we increase vaccinations in our community.  In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, SFHC has taken the following steps:

  • We are encouraging the limitation of visitors to patient and essential caregivers only.
  • Expanding our telephone and telemedicine services to allow for care to be done without a face-to-face visit.  Talk to our staff about setting up a visit with a medical or behavioral health provider via the phone or on our new telemedicine platform!  All you need is a smartphone or a webcam-enabled computer.
  • Screening all employees and patients entering our building for symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
  • Creating an isolated care area with a separate entrance for those patients with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.  This helps us take good care of ALL of our patients, those with possible COVID-19 and those without it.

For All Patients:

Masks Required for Entry – Masks are mandated for all patients and visitors entering our building.  This is consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Please bring your own mask as we are limited in the number of masks we have available. 

Testing for COVID-19:

We know there are many of our patients who have questions about testing for COVID-19.  Here is where SFHC is with testing:

  • SFHC has IN-HOUSE testing for COVID-19.  Results may be known in as little as 15 minutes.  Symptoms warranting COVID-19 testing include fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, chills, diarrhea, or loss of sense of taste or smell.  Asymptomatic patients with exposure to others with COVID-19 may warrant testing, as well. 
  • If you feel like you have COVID-19 and might need testing, please call SFHC to discuss your symptoms and other factors that might warrant a test.

Our advice to you:

It can be a little overwhelming to know what you can do to help avoid COVID-19.  Here is our advice:

GET VACCINATED! 

  • COVID-19 vaccination has now been proven to be the single most effective measure to prevent severe illness and spread of the infection.
  • Vaccinated people are now able to do most normal activities, but are currently advised to wear masks when indoors in public.
  • Check out cdc.gov for further details.

If you are unvaccinated, the advice is unchanged from prior recommendations:

  • Stay home whenever possible.  Avoid gathering with those outside of your household.
  • Wear a mask when you are out in public.
  • Keep 6 feet of distance between yourself and others when you do need to go out.
  • If you are exposed to someone with COVID-19, quarantine for 10 days.

Here is our advice if you are ill:

  • Stay home and away from others as much as possible.
  • Here is what COVID-19 may look like: fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, congestion, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of sense of taste or smell
  • If you feel you have COVID-19 symptoms but are not seriously ill, isolate yourself from others for 7 days after symptoms start or 3 days after symptoms end, whichever is longer.  Also consider getting a test through your primary care provider.  If you are seriously ill, go to the ER.
  • Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen. 
  • Stay hydrated.
  • If you are concerned about your symptoms or that you have underlying risk for serious illness, please call us (785-825-7251).  We want to help you.

Section 3202(b) of the CARES Act requires all providers that order or provide COVID-19 testing to publicly post their charge to the provider’s public internet website. Salina Family Healthcare Center’s charge for the clinically-indicated COVID-19 test is $150. Additional charges for office visits may apply.

There is no cost of COVID-19 vaccination to the patient. There is an administration fee ($45 for the first dose, $85 for the second, and $45 for the third, if applicable) that will be billed to the vaccinated person’s insurance. Most insurance companies are paying this fee. For uninsured patients there is no cost. 

Other Resources

CDC KDHE Proning Instructions KDHE VACCINE INFO Kansas Vaccine