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 residents.
This is very encouraging news. A COVID-19 vaccine will soon be available to our residents. We are moving forward with our plans and will provide additional details soon. In the meantime, as soon as we have the exact details of getting the consent forms to you and back to us, we will let you know. There are no costs to get the vaccine.
PLEASE NOTE: Although we have not been given firm dates of when the clinics will be held here at the facility or when we will receive the consent forms, we anticipate a VERY small window in which we will have to get these consents signed and back to us. Please act with appropriate urgency when you receive this consent and sign and return it to us quickly to ensure your loved one receives the vaccine.
We encourage as many residents as possible to get this vaccine. As we have learned, the elderly and those with significant health concerns have a much higher risk for getting very sick, being hospitalized, or succumbing 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. Please read the attached (or linked) EUA fact sheet and contact Barbara Kelleher, Director of Nursing Services (DNS@SoutheastRehabEaston.com, 508-238-7053) with any questions.
Potential side effects are listed on the fact sheet. You will find that these side effects are similar to the potential side effects of the flu shot, but they occur more frequently. 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 to 28 days after the first dose. We will continue to take all necessary precautions after the vaccine is administered, including wearing personal protective equipment 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 several websites listed below to learn more about the vaccine.
AMDA: FAQs about the COVID-19 Vaccine for PALTC Staff, Patients, Residents and Family Members http://paltc.org/sites/default/files/QA%20about%20the%20COVID-19%20Vaccine%20for%20PALTC%20Patients%20Family%20Member%20and%20Staff%20_%2012_1_20%20FINAL.pdf
CDC: About COVID-19 vaccines. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/about-vaccines.html
CDC: Understanding the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program and Frequently Asked Questions. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/long-term-care/pharmacy-partnerships.html
We will be in contact in the coming days with more detail on next steps. Thank you and please have a safe and healthy holiday season!
Joseph R. Silva Jr., MHA, LNHA
December 15, 2020