COVID VACCINE INFORMATION
December 11, 2020
Dear Family Member/Designated Representative,
As the holiday season and the new year approaches, we are pleased to inform you of some developments that we are anticipating in the upcoming weeks. We know how difficult this period has been for the residents, family members and the community at large. We thank you for entrusting us to care for your loved one and for your ongoing support and understanding.
As you may be aware, the FDA has been working with pharmaceutical companies on approving an emergency use of COVID-19 vaccinations. Through a partnership of various Federal and State programs, once the vaccination is approved, nursing home residents and staff are earmarked for the first phase of vaccine distribution.
The NYS Department of Health will be overseeing the implementation of this program through a contract with Walgreens and CVS pharmacies. The facility is expecting that we will be begin having vaccinations available for us within the next few weeks. The exact dates are unknown at this time. We anticipate that we will be receiving the Pfizer vaccine which is currently in phase 3 clinical trials. This vaccination uses two shots administered approximately 21 days apart. The vaccination will not give a person COVID-19. The first shot primes the immune system to recognize the virus, and the second shot strengthens the immune response.
We will be following all the recommendations from the CDC, FDA and the NYS Department of Health as we prepare for and provide immunizations for the residents. Please read the Fact Sheet: Understanding the COVID-19 Vaccine which was compiled by leading experts in the field.
As in all vaccinations, the medical and nursing staff will be monitoring the residents for any signs and symptoms of adverse effects and any concerns will be immediately addressed. For a day or two after the vaccination the resident may experience short-term discomfort: fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever and pain at injection site after vaccination. These are normal reactions.
Even after the vaccine program begins, the facility will remain vigilant in taking the same proactive measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The staff will continue to wear appropriate protective equipment and the facility will continue with the increased cleaning and disinfection processes.
We would like to take this opportunity to wish you a joyous and healthy holiday season and look forward to a brighter 2021. If you have any further questions please contact us at 718-471-5000 ext.1116