COVID-19 Update: Surge in Cases & Patients’ Vaccination Progress

At the time I wrote this post Bernalillo County and Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) were seeing an extreme surge in COVID-19 cases. I was especially concerned since the largest spike in cases in 2020 wasn’t reflected in APS’s numbers. This meant that we were seeing more cases of COVID-19 in Albuquerque children than ever; likely because children were learning online in 2020 (so they weren’t as likely to catch the virus) and because we hadn’t seen variants that infect children as easily (like omicron and delta).

In fact, the rate of COVID-19 at APS was 10 times higher than that in Bernalillo County – this was likely due to the low vaccination rate among children (which, if they’re anything like my patients then less than a quarter of them are vaccinated – see below for details on my patients’ vaccination rate).

While generally children are less likely to have severe cases of COVID-19 even with the new variants we’re still unclear on how often they’re getting long-COVID and some studies are showing that up to 66% of pediatric patients who catch COVID-19 (even if they’re asymptomatic during infection) are experiencing effects such as shortness of breath, brain fog, or loss of taste and smell 3 months or more after infection.

Due to this surge, I moved all patients who can complete online treatment back online. I was so excited to offer in-patient appointments again on 2/7/22!

I also got interested in looking at the vaccine status of our current patients and whether their appointments are online or in-person so I also made a pie chart to give myself a visual.

Before I made this visual I hadn’t realized I was seeing 50% of my patients online and in-person and that so many of my patients (almost 20%) are ineligible for the vaccine!