This has been a very difficult year with the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are pleased to share some good news. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found a COVID-19 vaccine to be safe and effective, and our facility will be able to give the vaccine to our residents. This is very encouraging news.
A COVID-19 vaccine will soon be available to all residents. We are moving forward with our plans and will provide additional details soon. In the meantime, we are asking for consent from the responsible party. Due to a very intricate form from our pharmacy, we are trying to make this simple. You can 1) call and give verbal consent over the phone and it can be documented in the nurse’s notes, 2) email consent to firstname.lastname@example.org , or 3) request a form to be signed. There will be no cost to get the vaccine.
We encourage as many residents as possible to get this vaccine. The elderly have a much higher risk for getting very sick, being hospitalized, or dying from COVID-19. The vaccine has been shown to provide a great deal of protection against serious illness due to COVID-19. The more residents that get vaccinated, the better we can protect our community against potential outbreaks and save lives.
This vaccine has gone through testing and clinical trials to ensure it meets the highest safety standards. It also is safe to get if you already had the virus. The health and safety of our residents is always our top priority, and we are confident this vaccine is a much better option than the risk of getting this virus.
The vaccine requires two doses. Residents will need to get both doses to ensure the best results. The second dose will be given approximately 21-28 days after the first dose. The most commonly reported side effects, which typically lasted several days, were pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, and fever. Of note, more people experienced these side effects after the second dose than after the first dose, so it is important for vaccination providers and recipients to expect that there may be some side effects after either dose, but even more so after the second dose. You will find that these side effects are similar to the potential side effects of the flu shot, but they occur more frequently.
We will continue to take all necessary precautions after the vaccine is administered, including wearing PPE and conducting regular testing, to ensure the safety of our residents and staff. We will also work with public health officials to determine how and when to adjust our policies for visitations and social activities and keep you updated.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel. We are hopeful that the vaccine will be a lifesaving turning point in the fight against COVID-19. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. You may also visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines to learn more about the vaccine.