The time we have been waiting for has finally arrived!  The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Emergency Use of the COVID-19 vaccination through Pfizer-BioNTech.  Each resident representative should have received a mail-out from the facility regarding the COVID-19 vaccination.  In this mail-out it included a consent form to receive the vaccination and a fact sheet for recipients and caregivers explaining the Emergency Use Authorization (EAU) of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to prevent Coronavirus Disease 2019 and a self-addressed return envelope.

The facility has partnered with Walgreens Pharmacy for distribution of the COVID-19 vaccination through the National Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care.  This program was set to roll out in Iowa on December 28, 2020.  Through this partnership Walgreens will have representatives on site at the facility to administer the vaccination to our residents and staff members.  These vaccination clinics will be held in three week increments as each dose must be administered 21 to 28 days apart.

We are very excited that Long-Term Care Residents and Healthcare workers have been indicated as a top priority and will be of the first recipients to be able to receive this vaccination.  Below I have included some very helpful Questions and Answers courtesy of Mayo Clinic.

COVID-19 Vaccination Q & A

I'm healthy, why do I need to be vaccinated?

While you may be healthy, many of our patients, as well as many of our health staff, have risk factors for getting serious complications from COVID-19 infection.  Getting a COVID-19 vaccination protects you so you may protect others around you as well.  It is the responsible thing to do for Mayo Clinic patients and visitors, yourself, your family, friends and co-workers.

Isn't masking, social distancing and self-quarantining a reasonable alternative to COVID-19 vaccination?

Given the extent of COVID-19 spread in the U.S. currently, masking, social distancing and self-quarantining is not enough to contain the pandemic.  Developing large-scale immunity in the community through vaccination is key to stopping the pandemic.

If I've had COVID-19, can I get the vaccination?

Yes, Mayo Clinic recommends getting the COVID-19 vaccination, even if you've previously had COVID-19.  People should wait until they are no longer infectious to get the vaccination.

Can people with an egg allergy have the COVID vaccine?

Yes, neither the Pfizer nor the Moderna vaccines contain egg.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?

Mayo Clinic will recommend the use of those vaccines that we are confident are safe.  While there are many COVID-19 vaccine candidates in development, early interim data are encouraging for BNT which likely is to be the first authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administrarion (FDA) in the late December/early January time frame.  This vaccine was created using a novel technology based on the molecular structure of the virus.  The novel methodology to develop a COVID-19 vaccine allows it to be free from materials of animal origin and synthesized by an efficient, cell-free process without preservatives.  This vaccine developed by Pfizer/BioNTech has been studied in approximately 43,000 people.

What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?

There are transient Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine reactions that resolve without complication or injury.  The early phase of the BNT162b2 vaccine show that it is safe.  However, about 15% of people developed transient local symptoms, and 50% developed transient systemic reactions -- primarily headache, chills, fatigue or muscle pain or fever.  These are indicators that your immune system is responding to the vaccine.

Source:  Mayo Clinic Rochester MN

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the facility and a staff member would gladly discuss any questions and/or concerns further.  And if you have not already done so, please return your consent form at your earliest convenience.

Kaitlain, Hayley and Tessa