1/1122020 - At this time, we do not have any information regarding the availability of a Covid-19 vaccine to the general public. We will be strictly following the guidance from the CDC on how to allocate doses of vaccine as they are received.
We know now that the doses allocated if Phase 1a for 70+ aged folks will be by appointment and require each recipient to have an email address. If you do not have an email address, please create one for this purpose.
With the overwhelming amount of inquiries on different platforms about specific persons ability to get vaccinated, it is impossible to respond to them all. We cannot respond to each inquiry. Please be patient and we will let folks know when we can begin vaccinating people.
Information regarding the first phases of the vaccination process is below.
Vaccination Phase 1a - Healthcare Workers/Employees
"Based on recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), an independent panel of medical and public health experts, CDC recommends healthcare personnel be among those offered the first doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Healthcare personnel include all paid and unpaid persons serving in healthcare settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials.
This recommendation pertains to paid and unpaid healthcare personnel working in a variety of healthcare settings—for example, acute care facilities, long-term acute care facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, home health care, mobile clinics, and outpatient facilities, such as dialysis centers and physicians’ offices.
Examples of healthcare personnel include:
- Emergency medical service personnel
- Nurses and nursing assistants
- Dental hygienists and assistants
Learn more about who is included under the broad term “healthcare personnel.”
- Students and trainees
- Contractual staff
- Dietary and food services staff
- Environmental services staff
- Administrative staff
Healthcare personnel are at risk of exposure
Healthcare personnel continue to be on the front line of the nation’s fight against this deadly pandemic. Healthcare personnel’s race and ethnicity, underlying health conditions, occupation type, and job setting can contribute to their risk of acquiring COVID-19 and experiencing severe outcomes, including death. By providing critical care to those who are or might be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, healthcare personnel have a high risk of being exposed to and getting sick with COVID-19. As of December 3, the day CDC published these recommendations, there were more than 249,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 866 deaths among healthcare personnel. View more recent numbers on the toll COVID-19 has taken on healthcare personnel.
Vaccinating healthcare personnel protects healthcare capacity
When healthcare personnel get sick with COVID-19, they are not able to work and provide key services for patients or clients. Given the evidence of ongoing COVID-19 infections among healthcare personnel and the critical role they play in caring for others, continued protection of them at work, at home, and in the community remains a national priority. Early vaccine access is critical to ensuring the health and safety of this essential workforce of approximately 21 million people, protecting not only them but also their patients, families, communities, and the broader health of our country.
Vaccinating healthcare personnel helps prevent patients from getting COVID-19
Healthcare personnel who get COVID-19 can also spread the virus to those they are caring for—including hospitalized patients and residents of long-term care facilities. Many of these individuals may have underlying health conditions that put them at risk for severe COVID-19 illness. Healthcare personnel can also spread the virus to other healthcare personnel. Learn more about the importance of COVID-19 vaccination for residents of long-term care facilities.
Benefits of vaccination must outweigh possible risks
To help make important medical products, including vaccines, available quickly during the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can use what is known as an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Before any vaccine can be authorized for use under an EUA, the FDA must determine that the vaccine’s known or potential benefits outweigh known or potential risks. This is true for all vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines.
Once a vaccine is authorized for use under an EUA, ACIP will review available data on the vaccine before voting and advising CDC on whether to recommend the vaccine. Learn more about how CDC is making COVID-19 vaccine recommendations.
The safety of COVID-19 vaccines and of healthcare personnel receiving the vaccines is a top priority
The safety of all vaccines are studied thoroughly in clinical trials. Once healthcare personnel and other members of the public begin receiving COVID-19 vaccinations, CDC and FDA will continue to closely monitor vaccine safety. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine safety monitoring.
Risks and benefits will be explained to everyone offered a COVID-19 vaccination
Before anyone can receive a COVID-19 vaccine, they must be given an EUA fact sheet with detailed information about the COVID-19 vaccine they will be receiving."
Vaccination Phase 1b - Long Term Care/Skilled Nursing Facility Residents
"Based on recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), an independent panel of medical and public health experts, CDC recommends residents of long-term care facilities be included among those offered the first supply of COVID-19 vaccines.
Vaccinating LTCF residents will save lives
Making sure LTCF residents can receive COVID-19 vaccination as soon as vaccines are available will help save the lives of those who are most at risk of dying from COVID-19. According to ACIP’s recommendations, long-term care facility residents include adults who reside in facilities that provide a range of services, including medical and personal care, to persons who are unable to live independently. The communal nature of LTCFs and the population served (generally older adults often with underlying medical conditions) puts facility residents at increased risk of infection and severe illness from COVID-19. By November 6, 2020, approximately 569,000–616,000 COVID-19 cases and 91,500 deaths were reported among LTCF residents and staff members in the United States, accounting for 39% of deaths nationwide.
Benefits of vaccination believed to outweigh possible risks
All COVID-19 vaccines were tested in clinical trials involving tens of thousands of people to make sure they meet safety standards and protect adults of different races, ethnicities, and ages, including adults over the age of 65. There were no serious safety concerns. The most common side effects were pain at the injection site and signs and symptoms like fever and chills. After a review of all the available information, ACIP and CDC agreed the lifesaving benefits of COVID-19 vaccination for LTCF residents outweigh the risks of possible side effects.
The safety of COVID-19 vaccines is a top priority
To help make important unapproved medical products, including vaccines, available quickly during the COVID-19 pandemic, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can use what is known as an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)external icon. Before any vaccine can be authorized for use under an EUA, FDA must determine that the vaccine’s benefits outweigh possible risks.
Once people begin receiving COVID-19 vaccinations, CDC and FDA will monitor vaccine safety closely. The United States will use existing robust systems and data sources to conduct ongoing safety monitoring. An additional layer of safety monitoring has also been added that allows CDC and FDA to evaluate COVID-19 vaccine safety almost immediately. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine safety monitoring.
For LTCFs in particular, CDC will work with pharmacies and other partners to report possible side effects (called adverse events) to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)external icon. Facility staff and residents’ families are encouraged to also report any adverse events immediately.
CDC will work with pharmacies and other partners to provide communication materials to help LTCFs educate residents and their families about the vaccine, answer their questions about vaccine safety and other issues, and prepare them for vaccination clinics. For some COVID-19 vaccines, two shots are needed to provide the best protection, and the shots are given several weeks apart. Each recipient or caregiver will receive a vaccination record card to ensure they receive the correct vaccine for the second dose.
Risks and benefits will be explained to everyone offered a COVID-19 vaccination
Explaining the risks and benefits of any treatments to a patient in a way that they understand is the standard of care. In LTCFs, consent or assent for vaccination should be obtained from residents (or the person appointed to make medical decisions on their behalf) and documented in the resident’s chart per standard practice.
For LTCFs participating in the Federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care Program, pharmacies will work directly with LTCFs to ensure staff and residents who receive the vaccine also receive an EUA fact sheet before vaccination. The EUA fact sheet explains the risks and benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine they are receiving and what to expect. Each LTCF resident’s medical chart must note that this information was provided to the resident. If a resident is unable to make medical decisions due to decreased mental capacity or illness, the EUA fact sheet will be provided to the person appointed to make medical decisions on their behalf (the medical proxy or power of attorney).