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Industry news and updates on lysosomal related research events and more

Update February 11, 2021 - Dr. Goker Speaks at WorldSymposium

Dr. Ozlem Goker-Alpan will be speaking at the CME Satellite Symposium: Critical Impact of Inflammation in Lysosomal Diseases: Unlocking future treatments and improving outcomes at the WORLDSymposium 2021 - Thursday, February 11, 2021, 12:00 - 1:00 PM

Monitoring and management of inflammation in Gaucher disease: Challenges, options and useful tools.(Accredited provider: Postgraduate Institute for Medicine (PIM); Jointly provided by PIM and Saterdalen & Associates, LLC; Supported by an independent educational grant from Takeda)


COVID 19 Vaccine Information for our patients

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has issued interim recommendations for the use of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the United States. Please find the current information about these vaccines and some other relevant information for our patients. The below information is gathered from the CDC website and other peer-reviewed medical publications. 


Both COVID-19 vaccines are mRNA vaccines that target the spike glycoprotein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. These vaccines are delivered using lipid nanoparticles (LNP), which prevent the degradation of mRNA. LNP or liposomes have been used to trap and protect the molecules until their target is reached (Vitiello at al, 2017). For vaccines, the target is an immune cell called an antigen-presenting cell. 


Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine: 16 years and older. 2-dose series separated by 21 days. A series started with the COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer) should be completed with this product administered as an intramuscular (IM) injection in the (deltoid muscle) upper arm. 

Among vaccine recipients, reactogenicity symptoms, defined as local injection site or systemic reactions during the seven days after vaccination, were mostly mild to moderate. Systemic adverse reactions were more commonly reported after the second dose than after the first dose and were generally more frequent in persons aged 18–55. Systemic adverse reactions had an onset of 1–2 days after the vaccine and resolved in a day. Among vaccine recipients, the most side effects were fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, and injection site pain usually reported after the second dose. 


Moderna COVOD-19 Vaccine: 18 years of age and older2-dose series separated by 28 days. A series started with COVID-19 vaccine (Moderna) should be completed with this product. Administered as an Intramuscular (IM) injection in the (deltoid muscle) upper arm.


Vaccination of persons with known current SARS-CoV-2 infection is preferentially deferred about 90 days after the initial infection. Thus, persons with documented acute SARS-CoV-2 infection within three months may delay vaccination until near the end of this period. 

Should our patients have a priority for COVID vaccines:

 All our patients have chronic health problems, and some have serious medical issues. While each state decides about the vaccine’s distribution and administration, the current recommendation is over age 65, and those with underlying health risks should get priority over the general population. If you have serious health risks such as heart disease, kidney disease, obesity, chronic lung disease, or immune problems, you should get vaccinated as soon as you can.  


While these vaccines are found to be effective for prevention of COVID-19 infections, there is not yet enough long-term data for prevention of hospitalizations and other long term COVID-19 complications. We advise that our patients continue with the local and CDC guidelines for wearing masks, social distancing, and other hygiene precautions.  



March 25, 2020

In the face of the challenges posed by the current COVID-19 pandemic, LDRTC is continuing to serve the Rare Disease community by maintaining the medical services offered to our patients with Lysosomal Disorders, Immune deficiencies, and other rare diseases. We remain fully operational to administer infusions and injectable therapies at our Infusion Clinic. Clinical Trial protocols for many life-saving therapies are similarly moving forward without any interruption.


Our utmost concern is to protect the health and wellbeing of our patients, and maintain the safety of our staff, while continuing to deliver the level of service and reliability you count on from LDRTC.


Some of the measures we implemented during these extraordinary times include

  • A reduced day and a staggered clinic schedule to ensure that premises are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
  • Screening all patients both with a questionnaire and temperature checks prior to entering the treatment facility.
  • Not allowing patients or visitors to congregate at the waiting room.
  • To reduce the foot traffic, we kindly ask patients not to bring any company, and minors to be accompanied by one parent only, who are also screened. Very young infants may require both parents’ care.  
  • Providing private rooms and also private bathrooms if possible, during their visit.


In addition, we closely monitor our staff’s health and provide an extended break to monitor themselves prior to the start of clinic’s weekly schedule.


Please let us know whether we could be of further help by utilization of remote health and Telemedicine services. You may contact us via email at or by phone at +1 703-261-6220.




Ozlem Goker-Alpan, M.D.

Lysosomal & Rare Disorders Research & Treatment Center (LDRTC)

Fairfax, VA



March 17, 2020

Dear Patients and Family Members,

With the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic, our patients and their families are understandably unsettled about its implications for their health and well-being.

We suggest that the patients under our care follow the CDC recommendations given to the highest risk populations such as the elderly and those with other co-morbid conditions, which pose a greater risk of complications. Please check the CDC website for current updates.

While it is suggested that COVID-19 may remain asymptomatic in pediatric population, we interpret this observation with extreme caution for the pediatric patients followed at our center, as the disorders we treat affect the immune system (either primary or as secondary), and in addition, many of these disorders have pulmonary involvement as well.     

We recommend social distancing, but we also would like to emphasize the importance of continuation of your therapy uninterrupted. Please contact the center where you receive your infusion treatments and inquire whether certain policies that may limit personal contact and duration of the time spent (such as private rooms, and availability of checking in and preparation of the medication in advance) are in place. Please note that we DO NOT recommend interrupting or skipping any treatments. For the patients who receive their treatments at our center, we will implement a triage system prior to the appointment by confirming that you do not have any symptoms such as chills, sore throat and cough or a history of known exposure to COVID-19. At the day of the appointment in addition, we will check your temperature before you enter the premises at the check- in station. If you have a fever, even low grade (for adults 99 degrees F, and for children 100 F and above), we will not be able to administer your treatment, and will refer you to your health care provider for further diagnosis and management.

If you are uncertain of your disease or immune status, please contact us at or 1+703-261-6220, so that we can offer you guidance.



Ozlem Goker-Alpan, M.D.

Lysosomal & Rare Disorders Research & Treatment Center (LDRTC)

Fairfax, VA

Connect with us

3702 Pender Drive, Suite 170,
Fairfax VA 22030

  • Phone 1 703-261-6220

  • Fax 1 703 991-6592