Vaccine Priority for Assisted Living
The CDC is partnering with pharmacies to offer on-site COVID-19 vaccination services for residents in all long-term care settings, including assisted living facilities where most individuals are over 65 years of age. Once a vaccine is available, the residents and staff at licensed communities, like ours, will have priority through CVS Pharmacy. CVS will bill your insurer, Medicare, or Medicaid for the cost of administering the vaccine.
This means that if you are a resident or have taken financial possession of a room at one of our communities prior to the initial vaccine clinics then you will be included in the first tranche of recipients for the vaccine. As we all know, seniors are affected the most by COVID-19, so this is a crucial opportunity to stay safe and healthy.
Benefits of the Vaccine
The COVID-19 vaccine has been tested through clinical trials over 20,000 times to make sure it is safe and approved for distribution. The test subjects include a diverse range of races, ethnicity, and age – including adults 65 and older. Ultimately, there were no serious safety concerns that outweigh the life-saving capability. The ACIP and CDC have agreed that the benefits of saving lives with the COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the risk of possible side effects.
Possible Side Effects:
- injection site pain
- muscle pain
- joint pain
- injection site swelling
- injection site redness
- feeling unwell
- swollen lymph nodes
How it Works
Each recipient of the vaccine will receive two shots of the vaccine into the muscle, spaced out over 3 weeks. If you receive one dose, it is recommended to receive the second dose as well. The duration of the vaccine is currently unknown.
What should you mention to your vaccination provider before you get the Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine?
Tell the vaccination provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:
- have any allergies
- have a fever
- have a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner
- are immunocompromised or are on a medicine that affects your immune system
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
- are breastfeeding
- have received another COVID-19 vaccine
Distributing The Vaccine Safely is Top Priority
The FDA has implemented an emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination and plans to monitor the distribution closely along with the CDC. Using robust systems and specific data systems, the FDA and CDC will be able to quickly and safely track the COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine safety monitoring. Additionally, the CDC is working with pharmacies and others who will be distributing the vaccine to help educate long-term care facilities to educate residents and their families.
FAQ’s from the CDC
FACT: COVID-19 vaccines will not give you COVID-19
None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. There are several different types of vaccines in development. However, the goal for each of them is to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work.
It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.
FACT: COVID-19 vaccines will not cause you to test positive on COVID-19 viral tests
Vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States won’t cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.
If your body develops an immune response, which is the goal of vaccination, there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.
FACT: People who have gotten sick with COVID-19 may still benefit from getting vaccinated
Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, people may be advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have been sick with COVID-19 before.
At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person. Some early evidence suggests natural immunity may not last very long.
We won’t know how long immunity produced by vaccination lasts until we have a vaccine and more data on how well it works.
Both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are trying to learn more about, and CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.
FACT: Getting vaccinated can help prevent getting sick with COVID-19
While many people with COVID-19 have only a mild illness, others may get a severe illness or they may even die. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you, even if you are not at increased risk of severe complications. If you get sick, you also may spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you while you are sick. COVID-19 vaccination helps protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work.
FACT: Receiving an mRNA vaccine will not alter your DNA
mRNA stands for messenger ribonucleic acid and can most easily be described as instructions for how to make a protein or even just a piece of a protein. mRNA is not able to alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA are kept. This means the mRNA does not affect or interact with our DNA in any way. Instead, COVID-19 vaccines that use mRNA work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop protection (immunity) to disease. Learn more about how COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work.
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