ocps staff getting vaccinated stevie jo bunkis katie

COVID-19 Update


Hello from all of us at Orange County Plastic Surgery in Newport Beach, CA and Salisbury Plastic Surgery in Worcester, MA. The OCPS staff has received the Moderna vaccine at the Orange County Surgery Center Vaccination site. A big thank you to our anesthesiologist, Dr. Becker, for making this happen!

In essence, this good news means that none of us here in the CA office will experience a COVID-19 infection. Vaccinations for the MA staff are still pending, different States have different rules for who is eligible for the vaccines. We fell into the first category here in CA and that is why we were able to get vaccinated so quickly. The amazing thing is that no one in our medical center or surgery center, here or in MA, got sick during this past 9 months! Goes to show that wearing masks, social distancing, frequent had washing and disinfecting rooms is important and lifesaving! We will continue wearing masks and following the same protocol we have been following since the pandemic broke in February. Yesterday I read that 50 year old, Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, Dr. Payman Simoni, passed away at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles from a COVID-19 infection. He had his mask on but a lady, whose lips he was injecting, coughed on him and notified him a few days later that she had tested positive for COVID-19. She did not have any symptoms at the time of the office visit and her temperature was normal! Just goes to show you, you can never be too careful.

We made it, but for the country, many dark days lie ahead. In places like Southern California, the medical system is at the breaking point, hospitals are overcrowded, ICU’s are full, ambulances can take more than half a day looking for a hospital which can accept their patients, morgues and funeral homes are overflowing, and so forth. The number of infected people in Massachusetts and California is staggering. 77 more people in MA died from COVID-19 infections, bringing the death toll to 12,875 of our citizens, people like you and me! Massachusetts is confirming over 5,000 new cases a day, now bringing the total of infected patients to 413,329. In Los Angeles County, one citizen dies of COVID-19 complications every 8 minutes, one in ten residents has tested positive for the virus. These are mind boggling numbers!

When will this end? The bottleneck seems to be delivering the doses to arms, not distribution to vaccination centers. About 21 million doses have been distributed in the US but only 6 million people have been immunized to date. Priorities as set out by the government have been to immunize those at the most risk like the elderly, nursing home patients and health care workers, leaving the young and healthier population unprotected. Yet it makes more sense to me to get the vaccine into as many of this younger group as possible because they are the ones going to work every day, socializing and spreading the disease!

Last week we mentioned the two vaccines available here in the US, Pfizer’s and Moderna’s, and that another, the AstraZenica/Oxford vaccine is available in the UK. The British vaccine is less temperature sensitive and much cheaper to produce, but I doubt that it will be approved here as it is only 70 per cent effective (compared to the 95% with the two vaccines used in the US).

Drs. Bunkis and Ekstrom getting vaccinated with covid vaccine.

Drs. Ekstrom and Bunkis getting their vaccines on January 2, 2021

Don’t give up now – let us stay vigilant to the end!

To your health and well-being. Stay healthy! Stay happy and persevere!

The end of the pandemic is almost here!

Keep wearing your masks in public, social distancing, continue to wash your hands frequently, all of you get tested before getting together with friends and family, get vaccinated when you get the opportunity, be safe, be happy, be healthy and prosper!

Enjoy your families! And have a Happy New Year!

Be grateful for what you have now and for what is on the horizon.

If you need Dr. Ekstrom or I, please call 949-888-9700 or visit our websites at:


Or for MA location, call 508-755-4911 or visit

You can respond in the comment section below or write to me at bunkis@ocps.com or Dr. Ekstrom at deborahekstrom@gmail.com

Thanks for staying in touch and for your feedback!