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COVID & Vaccines Updates


  Lab Updates >    

Please check back here regularly for updates. Please note that information is rapidly changing so refer to the most current updates.


New COVID Testing Hours

March 22, 2022

We continue to offer testing at 300 Kensington Avenue in New Britain. Our new hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 7:45am – 3:45pm. Appointments are required. Please contact your provider’s office first since they will need to order the test.  



Place Your Order for Free At-Home COVID-19 Tests

January 18, 2022

Residential households in the U.S. can order now one set of 4 free at-home tests from USPS.com. Here’s what you need to know about your order:

Click here to order.


COVID Safety Reminders

January 6, 2022

As you know, as a nation we are experiencing a major spike in COVID infections with the highly contagious Omicron variant.  Below are a few updates.

Get Vaccinated and Boosted

It is essential that you receive your vaccine. Once you are vaccinated, it is recommended that anyone 16 and older get a COVID booster, either six months after completing the Moderna or Pfizer primary COVID vaccine series or two months after getting the Johnson & Johnson shot.

We continue to offer clinics and check back regularly for updates. Here are other sites to assist you in finding vaccines and boosters:

Mask Up

Please make sure to wear high quality masks. A cloth mask is better than no mask, but N95, KN95, and KF94 masks are better protection against Omicron, experts say. If you choose to wear a cloth mask, put it on top of a surgical mask.

Sick? Get Tested

If you experience any symptoms of COVID, get a test and stay home until you’re better.

Testing

COVID PCR testing is available at 300 Kensington Avenue in New Britain: Mon-Fri, 7:30 am-4:00 pm. Appointments are required. Please contact your provider’s office first since they will need to order the test.

COVID Safety Measures

 We kindly ask no visitors unless assistance is required. 

Boosters Now Available to Everyone Age 18 and Above

November 4, 2021

Booster shots are now available to all Connecticut residents 18 years and older. You can receive a booster if it has been at least two months since you received J&J or six months since you received the second shot of Pfizer or Moderna.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration approved Pfizer and Moderna’s requests to expand eligibility of those shots to all adults in the United States.

The “unanimous decision carefully considered the current state of the pandemic, the latest vaccine effectiveness data over time and review of safety data from people who have already received a COVID-19 primary vaccine series and booster,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said.

“Booster shots … are an important public health tool to strengthen our defenses against the virus as we enter the winter holidays.”

Case rates in Connecticut and the region have edged up recently, prompting state and local officials to encourage fully vaccinated residents to seek a booster shot.

Gov. Ned Lamont and state Public Health Commissioner Manisha Juthani last week publicly urgedadult residents to get inoculated ahead of the holidays.

“Get it before Thanksgiving, before Christmas, before all those holidays,” Lamont said, “[and] before we see what’s going on in Maine and Vermont, Rhode Island, and New York – all around us. We’ll be ready.”

Prior to Friday’s federal authorization, boosters were permitted for people 65 and older, anyone 18 and older with underlying health conditions, those 18 and older who live in long-term care settings such as nursing homes, and those 18 and older who work or live in high-risk settings. Qualifying work places included grocery stores, educational facilities, public transit spaces, manufacturing facilities and prisons, among other locations.
 
Updated CDC Guidelines on Boosters: 
Boosters are recommended as followed:People 65 years and older, 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions, or 18 years and older who live in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot.

People 18 years and older should receive a booster shot at least 2 months after receiving their Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. 

IF YOU RECEIVED: Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna

You are eligible for a booster if you are:

When to get a booster:
At least 6 months after your second shot

Which booster should you get?
Any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States

IF YOU RECEIVED: Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen

You are eligible for a booster if you are:
18 years or older

When to get a booster:
At least 2 months after your shot

Which booster should you get?
Any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States


Now Offering the Pediatric COVID Vaccine to Children Ages 6 months and older

After months of testing and careful deliberation by the U.S Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control, the Pfizer vaccine has been granted emergency use for children 6 months and older.

This is exciting news and an important step as we move forward and protect our young and vulnerable population. Our Starling team is very supportive of this decision and is pleased to offer the vaccine in our Pediatric offices. 

Call today to schedule your appointment:

Vernon: (860) 871-2102

New Britain: (860) 224-6282

Plainville: (860) 747-1132

Newington: (860) 666-5167

A parent or guardian must be present.

Vaccine found to be safe and effective 

The pediatric vaccine just authorized will be given in two 10-microgram doses administered 21 days apart. The dosage is one-third of the adolescent and adult dose.

Clinical trials in children found the vaccine to be 90.7% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19.  

Safety data from the trials, which included more than 3,000 children who received the vaccine, found the most common reactions were pain at the injection site, fatigue, and headache. Reactions were mostly mild or moderate. There were no serious adverse events related to the vaccine, including myocarditis or anaphylaxis.

If you have questions, please consult with your Starling pediatric provider. Please click here for more helpful information from the CDC on children and teens and the vaccine.

Source: https://www.aappublications.org/news/2021/10/26/fda-pfizer-covid-vaccine-children-102621


Does your child have a cold, flu or COVID?

October 21, 2021

Your child has a sore throatcough, and a high fever. Is it COVID? Could it be the flu? Or just a cold? With fall season underway and many germs in circulation, it is understanding why there can be some confusion.

All these illnesses are caused by viruses that infect the respiratory tract. All are contagious and can spread easily from person to person. And they cause some similar symptoms. Click here to learn more>



Booster Dose Recommendations

September 27, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Providers in Connecticut have been approved to administer Pfizer booster doses in line with the FDA emergency use authorization and CDC recommendations.

CDC recommends:  

People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may* receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks

Note that persons who received Moderna or J&J vaccines for their primary doses are not included in the CDC recommendation currently. We expect to receive several continued updates to booster dose guidelines over the next weeks. These will include further clarification of these recommendations; and likely include recommendations related to the Moderna and the J&J vaccines as well as potential expansion of the recommended population groups. 

Starling will communicate shortly about when and where boosters will be available for those who are 65+ and at least 6 months from the second dose of the primary series of Pfizer as well as those who are under 65 and meet the CDC recommendations to encourage them to receive booster doses.

Stay tuned for additional information!


Testing

September 23, 2021

COVID PCR testing is available at 300 Kensington Avenue in New Britain: Mon-Fri, 7:30am-4:00pm. Talk with your provider who can send an order for testing. Appointments are required. Call (860) 368-2271.

Our pediatric practices also offer testing. Contact your pediatrician’s office for scheduling.


Children now represent 30% of all new COVID cases

September 20, 2021

Pediatrician, Dr. Elizabeth Martin, discusses COVID and kids, symptoms, where to get testing, and how to protect your children.


COVID Boosters

September 13, 2021

We know people are anxious to hear about when boosters may be available for the general population. We are currently providing boosters to those who are immunocompromised. But, for all other adults, we are awaiting guidelines from the State of Connecticut regarding the COVID vaccine booster. This is subject to authorization by the FDA and recommendation by CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

The FDA is conducting an independent evaluation to determine the safety and effectiveness of a booster dose of the mRNA vaccines. ACIP will decide whether to issue a booster dose recommendation based on a thorough review of the evidence.

Starling will post more information on September 20th and vaccine clinic dates. In the meantime, if you are immunocompromised, talk with your doctor or call our vaccine hotline at (860) 368-2285.


Lose your vaccine card?!

August 25, 2021

If you have lost or need access to immunization records, including the COVID-19 vaccine, you can go online to CT WiZ Public Portal. You can view, download, and/or print your records or the records of a dependent.

Click here to go to the CT Wiz portal.  You must use Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge or Mozilla Firefox.


Know the facts about the COVID vaccine!

August 24, 2021

Thank you to everyone who has done their part by getting the COVID vaccine. We know some people still have concerns. In this video, hear 4 of our doctors discuss the facts, address common myths, and share why they think the vaccine is so critical at this point in time.

Guiding Principles for Fully Vaccinated People

August 23, 2021

  • Outdoor activities pose minimal risk to fully vaccinated people.
  • Most indoor activities pose low risk to fully vaccinated people, especially in areas with low or moderate transmission.
  • Infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant.
  • Fully vaccinated people who become infected with the Delta variant can transmit it to others.

To reduce their risk of becoming infected with the Delta variant and potentially spreading it to others, CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people:

  • Wear a mask in public indoor settings if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
    • Fully vaccinated people might choose to mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated.
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Isolate if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Get tested 3-5 days after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days after exposure or until they receive a negative test result.
  • Continue to follow any applicable federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations.

FDA grants full approval to Pfizer’s COVID vaccine

August 23, 2021

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee), for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.

“The FDA’s approval of this vaccine is a milestone as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. While this and other vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. “While millions of people have already safely received COVID-19 vaccines, we recognize that for some, the FDA approval of a vaccine may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated. Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S.” 


CDC Authorizes Booster for the Immunocompromised

August 17, 2021

On August 13, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to recommend a third dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine for moderately and severely immunocompromised individuals under the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization.

Below the FDA acting commissioner explains why:

“The country has entered yet another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the FDA is especially cognizant that immunocompromised people are particularly at risk for severe disease. After a thorough review of the available data, the FDA determined that this small, vulnerable group may benefit from a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna Vaccines. This action allows doctors to boost immunity in certain immunocompromised individuals who need extra protection from COVID-19…Other individuals who are fully vaccinated are adequately protected and do not need an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine at this time. The FDA is actively engaged in a science-based, rigorous process with our federal partners to consider whether an additional dose may be needed in the future.”

Connecticut COVID-19 vaccine providers may now provide a third dose to immunocompromised patients who have completed a primary series of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine.

This third dose is recommended for the immunocompromised is an additional vaccine dose when the initial immune response following a primary vaccine series is likely to be insufficient or has waned over time.

This includes people who have:

The current recommendation only applies to the immunocompromised. The need for and timing of a COVID-19 booster dose for the general population have not been established but recommendations should be coming soon.

Patients can contact the place where they received their first vaccine or can check with local pharmacies or clinics. The recommendation is to stay with the same vaccine (i.e. Modern or Pfizer) you originally received.

Click here for the CDC announcement.


Unvaccinated individuals are getting much sicker!

August 16, 2021

Vaccinated individuals, even those with preexisting conditions, fare much better than the unvaccinated. Below are two illustrations that show the differences. Some vaccinated individuals, especially those with pre-existing conditions, do get sick from COVID breakthrough cases. But, overall, they are much less likely to be in the ICU on need ventilators. Take the following 3 examples:

Texas:

Georgia:

California:


Vaccine Safety for Of Child-Bearing Years

August 12, 2021

Dr. Peter Doelger is a practicing OB/GYN who has served Greater Hartford for over 35 years. Below he shares some
thoughts on questions and concerns about the COVID vaccine for women of childbearing years and who are pregnant.

 

Is pregnancy a risk factor for COVID complications?

Pregnancy is a risk factor for COVID. I explain to my patients that half of the baby is not them, and the way that the body doesn’t reject the baby is that the immune system has to be decreased. So pregnancy is an immune-suppressed state, and that’s why pregnant women get colds more often, and why they last longer.

Pregnant women are definitely at greater risk for getting COVID. More importantly, they’re at greater risk for getting sick, being admitted to the hospital, ending up on the respirator, and dying.

Below are some frightening statistics:

Can you or your baby die from COVID?

Unfortunately, the answer to this is yes! At our hospital we had a patient with COVID who had to be intubated, and at 22 weeks of pregnancy we did an emergency C-section in an attempt to save the mother’s life. The baby died and two days later the mother died. I had to call the husband and tell him that his baby and his wife died. I hung up the phone and I sobbed like a baby.

We’re at a point now where a story like that is totally unnecessary. So please, please consider, for yourself, for your loved ones, for the people around you, please consider getting this vaccine.

Is the vaccine safe for women who are pregnant, nursing, or thinking of getting pregnant?

Based on what we know about this vaccine, and the studies that we have in pregnant women, the recommendation we give women who are considering getting pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or are pregnant and breastfeeding, is to strongly recommend getting the vaccine. One of the added benefits of the vaccine is we now know that the antibodies the vaccine produces will pass to the baby, and our hope is that this will also prevent babies from getting the COVID virus.

We know that this vaccine does not interfere with a woman’s ability to conceive. We know this vaccine does not increase miscarriage rate. We know this vaccine does not increase birth defects.

Why is getting the vaccine so important at this point in time?

We’re feeling particularly urgent at this period of time because of the new Delta virus, and unfortunately, this virus is much more contagious and dangerous than the previous strains of this virus. We are seeing a gigantic uptick, almost more than doubling every week, in younger patients and pediatric patients, and there are now newborns that are needing to be intubated because of this disease. And I do tell my pregnant patients that not only will they be protecting themselves, but their babies, by getting the vaccine.

Does the vaccine cause infertility?

The vaccine in no way interferes with a woman’s ability to get pregnant. I know it’s difficult if you’re thinking about getting pregnant, and you’ve heard a lot of misinformation about this vaccine. There is absolutely no data at all that this is true.

Before you get pregnant, it’s very important to be as healthy as you can be. We do talk to people about good nutrition, exercise, getting enough sleep, and definitely, women do not want to do anything to increase the chance of adversely affecting their pregnancy.

We know that this vaccine does not interfere with a woman’s ability to conceive. We know this vaccine does not increase miscarriage rate. We know this vaccine does not increase birth defects.

When is the right time to get the vaccine during pregnancy?

We usually recommend that people get the vaccine after the first trimester, and the reason we recommend this is that the normal reaction to the vaccine can include a slight elevation in temperature, and that’s something we usually like to avoid during the first trimester. Talk to your provider about the optimal timing for you.

Can I get the vaccine if I am breastfeeding?

Yes! We now know that the antibodies that the vaccine produces are passed to the baby through breast milk, so it’s a way of protecting a child that’s too young to receive the vaccine. So not only does the vaccine protect the mother, but it protects the baby too.

Do I need the vaccine if I already had COVID?

There is some protection if a patient has had COVID in terms of getting it again. But, with this new variant, the studies have shown that you have 10 times the antibody response from the vaccine than you do from actually having had the disease. So even though you’ve had COVID,  you are much more protected if you go ahead and get the vaccine.

Questions/Concerns About the Vaccine
Can I trust the vaccine?

I think this is a difficult issue for a lot of patients, and I think that’s quite understandable. I can definitely understand people not having 100% faith in the pharmaceutical companies, the government, and even the medical profession. I don’t think we have always earned the trust that we ask of our patients. So I do understand the hesitancy about this vaccine, and I just want to take time to share some of the facts, and some of the concerns that I’m hearing from my patients.

There’s never been a vaccine that we have more experience with than this vaccine.

Was the vaccine rushed?

There’s a question about the vaccine in terms of how quickly it was developed because it came out much quicker than any vaccine in the past. There’s a concern that it was rushed, it wasn’t appropriately tested, and that it’s new technology.

This technology is not new. We’ve been using this technology for 20 years. We’ve been using this technology to teach your cells to fight cancer cells. And what they were able to do, using this technique, is to teach your cells to fight the SARS virus.

People talk about this being a new vaccine, but this vaccine has been received by over 350 million people in the United States and by over 4 billion people around the world. There is nothing new about it at this point.

Does this vaccine stay indefinitely in your body?

There’s a concern about putting something foreign in your body, which is very understandable. There’s a concern about how long the vaccine is in your body. I would like to point out that once it hits your bloodstream, it very quickly disappears. And this technology  teaches your cells to produce a protein so if you ever get the SARS virus, it will be able to remove it from your body. We have studies in pregnant women showing that, within one to three days after getting the vaccine, there is no vaccine found in their breast milk. So we know that the vaccine is in your system a very, very short period of time.

Are there side effects of the vaccine?

You’re definitely going to get some side effects from the vaccine. I got my vaccine and had a headache and some nausea. Being a male, I really felt it was the end of the world – it wasn’t – so I took some medication and I was fine. You want to get a little bit of a reaction after the vaccine, that’s a sign that you’re getting an immune response. So that’s something that you actually should expect, and again, almost always it’s pretty minimal.

Is the vaccine really 100% safe?

The risk of getting COVID during pregnancy is much greater than in the general population. Pregnant women who get the COVID vaccine are at much greater risk for severe complications. Patients often tell me, “Well, I’m concerned about this vaccine, no one knows 100% if it’s safe,” and that’s true – no one knows if anything’s 100% safe.

I point out to them the growing body of evidence about adverse health effects after having COVID. COVID is a disease that affects all the vessels in your body, and we’re seeing people now having significant respiratory issues, kidney issues, lung issues, we have young people having heart failure due to the fact that they’ve had COVID. And some people are sick for months or even a year after having this disease. So it’s not only getting the disease, but it’s possible to have side effects afterwards.

*******

We’re incredibly lucky to have this vaccine. This vaccine is over 95% effective. That’s amazing. Some years the flu vaccine is only 20% effective. It’s truly a miracle of modern science. We’re so lucky to be in a society where we have this offered. Please think about getting this vaccine; do it for yourself, do it for your children, do it for your loved ones, do it for your coworkers, do it for your patients. Do it for the nation. If we had a better vaccine response, we’d be back to normal by now.


Covid Live Updates: C.D.C. Firmly Urges Vaccinations During Pregnancy, Citing New Data

August 11, 2021

A pregnant woman received a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in Bogota, Colombia, in July. Credit: Carlos Ortega/EPA, via Shutterstock

Federal health officials on Wednesday bolstered their recommendation that pregnant people be vaccinated against Covid-19, pointing to new safety data that found no increased risk of miscarriage among those were immunized during the first 20 weeks of gestation.

Earlier research found similarly reassuring data for those vaccinated later in pregnancy.

Until now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said the vaccine could be offered during pregnancy; the recent update in guidance strengthens the official advice, urging pregnant people to be immunized.

The new guidance brings the C.D.C. in line with recommendations made by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other medical specialty groups, which strongly recommend vaccination.

“At this time, the benefits of vaccination, and the known risks of Covid during pregnancy and the high rates of transmission right now, outweigh any theoretical risks of the vaccine,” Sascha R. Ellington, an epidemiologist who leads the emergency preparedness response team in the division of reproductive health at the C.D.C.

The risks of having Covid-19 during a pregnancy are well-established, she said, and include severe illness, admission to intensive care, needing mechanical ventilation, having a preterm birth and death.

So far, there is limited data on birth outcomes, she added, since the vaccine has only been available since December. But the small number of pregnancies followed to term have not identified any safety signals.

Pregnant women were not included in the clinical trials of the vaccines, and uptake of the shots has been low among pregnant women. The majority of pregnant women seem to reluctant to be inoculated: Only 23 percent of pregnant women had received one or more doses of vaccine as of May, a recent study found.

Dr. Adam Urato, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist in Framingham, Mass., who counsels patients about the vaccine almost daily, said pregnant women are very wary of exposure to synthetic chemicals and want more solid scientific evidence that the vaccines are safe.

“The one question my patients ask me all the time is, are we absolutely sure that these vaccines won’t affect my baby?” he said.

If you have questions about the COVID vaccine and pregnancy, talk to your Starling OB/GYN.

Source: New York Times, August 11, 2021

Update on COVID Vaccine & Testing for Pediatric Patients

August 10, 2021

We are proud to offer the vaccine to children age 12 and up. You do not need to be a Starling patient. Here is how to call and schedule:

Patients of our Starling pediatric practices in New Britain, Plainville, Newington, and members of the community:
Patients of our Starling practice in Vernon and members of the community:
Covid testing for our pediatric patients:

Testing is available in each of our offices, but you must be a patient. Call the office directly to schedule.

New Britain:  (860) 224-6282

Plainville:  (860) 747-1132

Newington:  (860) 666-5167

Vernon: (860) 871-2102

Younger, Sicker, Quicker

August 4, 2021

Many doctors on the front lines say unvaccinated patients in their 20s and 30s are becoming more severely ill, and more quickly.

Doctors have coined a new phrase to describe them: “younger, sicker, quicker.” Many physicians treating them suspect that the Delta variant of the coronavirus, which now accounts for more than 80 percent of new infections nationwide, is playing a role.

As of Sunday, more than 80 percent of Americans ages 65 to 74 were fully vaccinated, compared with fewer than half of those ages 18 to 39, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The vaccines are powerfully effective against severe illness and death after infection with any variant of the virus, including Delta. A vast majority of hospitalized patients nationwide — roughly 97 percent — are unvaccinated.

Starling continues to offer the vaccine. Call and schedule a vaccine today: (860) 368-2271

Source: New York Times 8.3.21

Vaccine Safety: Fertility and Pregnancy

Click on image below to view larger.


Update from Connectiut Department of Health

August 2, 2021

The CDC issued a Health Advisory to notify public health practitioners and the public about the urgent need to increase COVID-19 vaccination coverage. Increasing vaccination coverage is especially urgent in areas where current coverage is low. Unvaccinated persons account for the majority of new COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths.

Currently COVID variants of concern, especially the highly infectious Delta variant, are accelerating the spread of infection. Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated people should practice all recommended prevention measures until fully vaccinated. In areas with substantial and high transmission, CDC recommends that fully vaccinated individuals wear a mask in public indoor settings to help prevent the spread of Delta and help protect others.

Connecticut cases are on the rise

COVID-19 case rates are rising in Connecticut. As in-person interactions increase and variants of concern are on the rise, the risk of COVID spread remains, particularly among unvaccinated individuals.

With the Delta variant circulating, vaccination is more urgent than ever
How to stay safe

To reduce the risk of becoming infected with the Delta variant and potentially spreading it to others, CDC now recommends that fully vaccinated people:

Anyone with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, should get a viral test for COVID-19.

Do your part – get vaccinated!

Any one of the three currently available COVID-19 vaccines approved remain our best defense against preventing the spread of COVID-19, including the Delta variant. If you have not received your vaccine, call our vaccine line and schedule an appointment today!  (860) 368-2271

Vaccine & Testing Update

July 16, 2021

Vaccines Available: We have doses available of Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.  We can provide vaccines, upon request and also will be offering clinics. Call our vaccine hotline at (860) 368-2271. We offer vaccines to anyone in the community, age 12 and above. Those 12 and above will receive the Pfizer vaccine and will need a guardian present. 

Testing: COVID PCR testing is available at 300 Kensington – M,W, F, 7:45am-3:45pm. An appointment is required; please call (860) 368-2285 to schedule.  

Reminder about Masks

Update on COVID Testing & Vaccines

June 4, 2021

Starling continues to be your go-to resource for testing and vaccinations.

COVID PCR testing is available at 300 Kensington – 5 days a week. 8am-3:45pm. An appointment is required, please call 860-368-2285 to schedule.

We have doses available of Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Limited days available due to demand. We can provide vaccines, upon request, on other days and times. Call our vaccine hotline at (860) 368-2271

We offer vaccines to anyone in the community, age 12 and above. Those 12 and above will receive the Pfizer vaccine and will need a parent present.

We Still Require Masks

May 21, 2021

On May 19, Connecticut lifted the mask mandate for people when they are outside and people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will no longer need to wear masks in several places.

For our patients, we will continue to require masks because we are a Health Care Facility.  If you do not have a mask, please ask our staff to provide you with one.  

Below is some information regarding mask usage from the CDC.

Wearing a face mask has already become part of the daily routine for many Americans, with 97% saying they wear one at least once in a typical week. As more businesses continue to reopen or bring their employees back to the office over the next several months, face masks will likely remain an important preventative measure — especially since both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommend that employers encourage workers to wear them in the workplace to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

MASKS NOT REQUIRED:

MASKS REQUIRED FOR ALL:

IF YOU ARE NOT VACCINATED:

For people who are not vaccinated, masks will be required:

IF YOU ARE FULLY VACCINATED:

Vaccinated people will not be required to wear masks indoors in several settings, but there are some exceptions.

Masks will be required in the following settings:

Businesses, state and local government offices, and events may choose to require universal masking.

Now Vaccinating Those Age 12 and Above

May 12, 2021

Our Pediatrics practices in Vernon and New Britain are now offering the Pfizer vaccine for those age 12+. You do not need to be a patient.

Vernon:

Vernon Pediatrics will run drive-up Pfizer clinics. Clinics will be held on May 18, 19, 20, and 21 starting at 5:30 pm. Please call to schedule an appointment: (860) 871-2102. A legal guardian must be in attendance, or a Minor Consent Form must be completed prior to the appointment time.

 

New Britain: 

Our pediatrics practice in New Britain is also be offering the Pfizer vaccine. Appointments will be scheduled during business hours. Call (860) 224-6282.


Guard Your Card!

May 6, 2021

Below is important information from Medicare.

After you get your COVID-19 vaccine, keep your vaccination card safe — scammers are using the COVID-19 pandemic to try to steal your personal information.

Don’t share a photo of your COVID-19 vaccination card online or on social media. Scammers can use the content you post, like your date of birth, health care details, or other personal information to steal your identity.

Protect Yourself

You should get a COVID-19 vaccination card at your first vaccine appointment. If you didn’t, contact the provider site where you got vaccinated or your state health department to find out how to get a card.

If someone contacts you to buy or sell a vaccination card, it’s a scam.

If you suspect COVID-19 health care fraud, report it online or call 800-HHS-TIPS (800-447-8477). TTY users can call 1-800-377-4950.

Let’s Get Control of COVID!

May 5, 2021

If you haven’t gotten your vaccine yet, now is the time!

Call our vaccine line at (860) 368-2271 to set up an appointment.


 

 

Vaccine Now Available for Patients & The Community

April 7, 2021

Now offering vaccines to Starling patients and all members of the community! Call (860) 368-2271 to schedule an appointment. Days and times of the week will vary so please call us for options.

Vaccine Safety – Know the Facts!

March 22, 2021

We encourage all patients to get the COVID vaccine once you are eligible, wherever it is convenient. Here are some helpful resources from the Department of Public Health to reinforce the benefits of getting a vaccine and reassure you about its safety.


Is it a cold, allergy, or COVID?

March 19, 2021

Many patients with known postnasal drip and cough from the allergies have been afraid to be around others due to concern from others that the cough may be secondary to possible COVID. Many of these patients have repeatedly been tested for COVID to rule out possible infection. Therefore, adequately controlling allergies is crucial this year to help avoid some confusion and unnecessary need for COVID testing.

Starling Allergist, Dr.Jigisha Morosky, is available to see patients for consultations regarding allergy testing, treatment, and questions regarding COVID vaccines. She sees patients in Wethersfield, Enfield, and Glastonbury: (860) 749-7001.

Click here for some of Dr. Morosky’s recommendations for over the counter and home remedies>

 

 


Pregnancy and the COVID-19 Vaccine

March 13, 2021

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that COVID-19 vaccines should not be withheld from pregnant individuals who choose to be vaccinated. While limited, current safety data on the use of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy do not indicate any safety concerns. ACOG recommends that pregnant individuals be free to make their own decision regarding COVID-19 vaccination. Pregnant individuals are encouraged to discuss vaccination considerations with their Starling  OB/GYN team.

Click here for some helpful information on this topic.

 

 


Medicare covers FDA-Approved COVID-19 Vaccines

March 5, 2021

You pay nothing for the COVID-19 vaccine. You won’t pay a deductible or copayment, and your provider can’t charge you an administration fee to give you the shot.

A COVID-19 vaccine helps reduce the risk of illness from COVID-19 by working with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop protection (immunity) to the virus.

Things to know
  • Be sure to bring your red, white, and blue Medicare card so your health care provider or pharmacy can bill Medicare. You’ll need your Medicare card even if you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan.
  • If you fill out a form to get the vaccine, you may be asked for your insurer’s group number. If you have Part B, leave this field blank or write “N/A.” If you have trouble with the form, talk with your vaccine provider.
  • Medicare also covers COVID-19 testsCOVID-19 antibody tests, and COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatments.



Roll Up Your Sleeves

February 23, 2021

Our providers want to encourage all patients to get the vaccine, whenever you are eligible and wherever it is convenient. Hear some of our providers  discuss the key role that vaccines play and why getting the COVID vaccine is critical to protect yourself, your loved ones, and the community.


New Vaccine Hotline

February 22, 2021

We now offer Starling patients a Vaccine Hotline: 860-368-2271. This provides the most current information available on our vaccine status. Thank you for your patience as we await more details from the State about when we will have the vaccine available in our offices. Please see the Questions/Answers below to address common questions.  

 

Double Masking

February 17, 2021

There has been recent news about double masking. Because layering masks reduces the ability of germs to make it through face coverings, it’s more likely to do a better job of protecting you from infectious respiratory droplets. This is especially true with cloth masks which, depending on the material, number of layers, and fit, may be better with an additional layer of protection.

Some may wonder why our providers are not double masking. First, our providers wear medical grade masks that are secure and fit properly. Second, many of our providers are vaccinated. Third, our providers are extremely focused on hygienic and safety measures. If we thought our masking policy for providers in any way posed a risk to our patients, we would re-evaluate.

Here is a helpful article on double masking and when it may be appropriate for the general public.


COVID Testing for Starling Patients

February 16, 2021

We now offer COVID testing for Starling patients at 300 Kensington. A physician referral is required. If you believe you need a COVID test, please contact your provider’s office.


Be Prepared for These Screening Questions

February 12, 2021

We continue to screen patients prior to appointments and upon arrival. Please be prepared to address the following questions before seeing your provider.

 
 

 

Dr. Walker Interview on Channel 3

December 16, 2020

Dr. Scott Walker talks with Channel 3 about COVID-19 symptoms, testing, and when to contact your doctor or seek care.

Is it Cold, Flu, Allergy or COVID?

December 10, 2020

 Now is a difficult time of year and it’s hard to distinguish. Consider the following:

Click here for helpful chart on symptoms >

Beware of COVID Scams

December 4, 2020

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General continues to alert the public about fraud schemes related to COVID-19.

Fraudsters are using telemarketing calls, text messages, social media platforms, and door-to-door visits to perpetrate COVID-19-related scams.

These scammers use the coronavirus pandemic to benefit themselves, and beneficiaries face potential harm. The personal information collected can be used to fraudulently bill federal health care programs and commit medical identity theft.

Protect yourself and your loved ones from potential scams. 

  • Be aware that scammers are pretending to be COVID-19 contact tracers or are contacting people unexpectedly to offer COVID-19 tests and supplies. Do not respond to calls from or engage in visits with unknown individuals.
  • Be cautious of unsolicited requests for personal, medical, or financial information.
  • Be vigilant and protect yourself from potential fraud concerning COVID-19 vaccines. You will not be asked for money to enhance your ranking for vaccine eligibility. Government and State officials will not call you to obtain personal information in order to receive the vaccine, and you will not be solicited door-to-door to receive the vaccine.

If you suspect COVID-19 health care fraud, report it immediately online or call 1-800-447-8477.

For more information, visit OIG.HHS.GOV.

 

See below for a helpful video from our Chief Medical Office, Dr. Michael Posner to discuss the new standards of care:

Covid-19 and Children

May 13, 2020

 We’re still learning about the coronavirus and the impact on children. Far fewer cases of the virus have been reported in children, and it seems to usually cause a milder infection in them than in adults and older people. But some kids have developed more serious symptoms.

Many parents wonder what to do if their child gets sick. Here’s what you need to know.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Coronavirus can cause:

Some kids are having symptoms caused by inflammation throughout the body, sometimes several weeks after they were infected with the virus. Research is currently underway to learn more about this condition.

Symptoms of this inflammatory condition may include:

What Should I Do if My Child Has Symptoms?

If your child has any of the symptoms:

Call 911 if your child is struggling to breathe, is too out of breath to talk or walk, or turns blue or has fainted.

How Can I Keep My Family Safe if My Child Has Symptoms?
How Do Doctors Test People for Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Testing for COVID-19 is changing. Doctors, hospitals, commercial labs, local health departments, and the U.S. Public Health Service are working together to help get tests to the people who need them.

To test someone for coronavirus, doctors put a long Q-tip into the nose (called a nasal swab) and send it to a lab. If the person coughs up mucus, doctors might send that for testing too. Some areas offer drive-thru testing, which lets people stay in their car during the test.

If you think your child has symptoms of COVID-19, call your doctor or local health department. They will give you the most up-to-date information on testing.

How Is Coronavirus (COVID-19) Treated?

Doctors and researchers are working on medicines and a vaccine for coronavirus. Most people with the illness, including children, get better with rest, fluids, and fever-reducing medicine. Some people with more severe symptoms need treatment in the hospital.

What Else Should I Know?

Keep doing these things to keep your family healthy:

Source: Adapted from kidshealth.org with input from Starling Pediatrician Dr. Noelle Leong.

Click here to visit our new page >

Beware of Covid-19 Scams

March 24, 2020

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General is alerting the public about fraud schemes related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Scammers are offering COVID-19 tests to Medicare beneficiaries in exchange for personal details, including Medicare information. However, the services are unapproved and illegitimate.

Fraudsters are targeting beneficiaries in a number of ways, including telemarketing calls, social media platforms, and door-to-door visits.These scammers use the coronavirus pandemic to benefit themselves, and beneficiaries face potential harms. The personal information collected can be used to fraudulently bill Federal health care programs and commit medical identity theft. If Medicare or Medicaid denies the claim for an unapproved test, the beneficiary could be responsible for the cost.

Protect youself:

  • Beneficiaries should be cautious of unsolicited requests for their Medicare or Medicaid numbers.
  • Be suspicious of any unexpected calls or visitors offering COVID-19 tests or supplies. If your personal information is compromised, it may be used in other fraud schemes.
  • Ignore offers or advertisements for COVID-19 testing or treatments on social media sites.
  • A physician or other trusted healthcare provider should assess your condition and approve any requests for COVID-19 testing.
  • If you suspect COVID-19 fraud, contact National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline (866) 720-5721 or disaster@leo.gov

Report any scams to: National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline (866) 720-5721 or disaster@leo.gov

  • We ARE seeing well newborns up to 4 month olds in our Plainville office
  • We ARE seeing limited sick visits in our New Britain office
  • We currently are NOT seeing patients in Newington
  • All of our providers are practicing telemedicine
  • Vernon will no longer offer morning walk-in sick hour; they are seeing infants for well-visits; limited sick visits; offering daily telemedicine video visits
Please check the office/website for daily changes to this schedule

 

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