COVID-19 VACCINE FAQS
At SeniorBridge, your health and well-being continues to be our top priority during this COVID-19 health crisis. We know our clients and families have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine; below are answers to several Frequently Asked Questions. We also encourage you to visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html for the latest information on the vaccine.
What you should know about the COVID-19 Vaccine
Vaccines are an important tool to help communities fight the spread of COVID-19 -- and help people stay healthy. However, widespread availability of a vaccine likely will not occur for many months. Therefore, it is critically important to continue following the advice of health professionals in order to minimize the chances of catching or spreading the disease. According to the CDC, wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and washing your hands remain the best protections against the virus.
Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?
Yes. There are currently three authorized COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson have both received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in the U.S., meaning that they can be made available to the public during the pandemic. There are still other COVID-19 vaccines in development in the U.S and internationally.
ALERT: IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine
On April 13, 2021, the FDA and CDC released a joint statement about the J&J vaccinethat recommended a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine out of an abundance of caution:
- As of April 12, The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration have recommended that the United States pause the use of Johnson & Johnson Janssen’s Covid-19 vaccine over six reported US cases of a "rare and severe" type of blood clot.
- The six reported cases were among more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine administered in the United States.
- All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination.
Information on the adverse affects:
- According to the CDC, right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare.
- Unlike typical vaccine side effects that can range from injection site pain to flu-like symptoms, the CDC recommends that people who have received the J&J vaccine and develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should inform their doctor or seek medical attention immediately.
When will I be able to get the vaccine?
All across the U.S., COVID-19 vaccines are being deployed in phases based on the CDC recommendations. Phases vary state to state, and sometimes county by county, but in general, phases began with essential frontline workers and our nation’s elderly population. Since deployment began in December 2020, state and local regulations on who is eligible for a vaccine and when have varied based on supply and need.
Where can I get the vaccine?
You can start by checking out the national site, vaccinefinder.org, which will help you quickly connect to vaccine sites, resources and regulations particular to your state. You can also use the CDC site to check state and local health departments. While vaccines are available in a wide range of locations, keep in mind supplies and regulations vary. You'll need to do some simple research and planning in order to get your vaccine.
When you book your appointment(s), be sure to see if any identifications (such as a driver's license) or other verifications are required at your vaccination site. This link will provide you with a copy of a letter as proof of employment with our company, if it is required at your vaccination site.
Is the vaccine safe?
According to the CDC, “The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Learn how federal partners are working together to ensure the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.”
Are there any any side effects?
It is possible that you will experience some side effects after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. According to the CDC, “After COVID-19 vaccination, you may have some side effects. This is a normal sign that your body is building protection”. Common vaccine side effects highlighted by the CDC range from pain at the injection site to flu-like symptoms. For more information from the CDC on dealing with these symptoms and when to call the doctor, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect/after.html
How is it administered? How many doses will I need?
The COVID-19 vaccines will be delivered via injection. Some will require two doses to be effective, including the two vaccines that recently received Emergency Use Authorization. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will require two shots, administered about 21 days apart. The Moderna vaccine will require two shots, administered about 28 days apart.
According to the CDC, both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine are reported to be about 94% to 95% effective in preventing COVID-19. Remember that you will not get full protection from just one dose of these vaccines. It is critical that you schedule and receive the second dose in order to receive the full vaccine protection.
What if I am high risk or have a specific medical condition?
If you have concerns due to your health status or a specific medical condition, consult with your doctor about whether the vaccine is appropriate for you, and the safest way to get it.
If you have an underlying or chronic medical condition, make sure you are in communication with your doctor during this pandemic. Getting these conditions well-managed, by staying on top of your preventative and regular medical care, will help to manage your health risk during this pandemic. This is one of the best ways to protect yourself while awaiting the availability of the vaccine. Your SeniorBridge Care Manager or Caregiver can assist with setting up an appointment with your doctor.
Will I be able to get the vaccine at no charge to me?
Yes. All FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines will be covered at no additional cost during the public health emergency.
Please visit the CDC’s website for the latest information about COVID-19 vaccines.
This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical advice or used in place of consulting a licensed medical professional. If you are in a life-threatening or emergency medical situation, please dial 9-1-1 and seek medical attention immediately