COVID Vaccines: What You Need to Know
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved COVID-19 vaccines are being administered in LTC and senior care communities to protect residents, family members, and health care professionals from the spread of COIVD. The logistics are complex, and there are considerations such as vaccine confidence, onboarding new residents, and monitoring adverse reactions.
Forum Extended Care experts Brian Kramer, President and CEO, and Johnson Abraham, Director of Clinical Services, outline practical aspects of vaccination in the context of medication management in Forum’s January webinar. They discuss best practices and create a dialog to continue managing the pandemic.
Types of COVID Vaccines
There are three types of vaccines being developed: mRNA, protein subnit, and vector. The mRNA vaccine is currently approved in the United States with available vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. The Pfizer and Moderna shots require two doses given 21-28 days apart and do not contain eggs, preservatives, latex, or the live virus.
Vaccine Side Effects
The most common side effects of the COVID vaccine are considered normal of any vaccine like the flu shot. Individuals may experience pain, slight swelling at the injection site, or redness. It is common for symptoms such as chills, fatigue, and headaches after a COVID vaccine, especially after the second dose, and resolve within one to two days.
Why Get Vaccinated?
COVID vaccines create an antibody immune response without having to experience illness and can protect against serve symptoms if a vaccinated individual contracts the virus. The FDA authorized COVID vaccines for emergency use based on rigorous clinical trials that demonstrated safety and efficacy. The best defense individuals have against the virus is vaccination combined with following CDC guidelines on masking and social distancing.
Vaccination in the Workplace
In January 2020 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said employers could encourage and possibly require COVID vaccinations. There are a lot of factors to consider when creating a vaccine policy in your LTC facility. The policy must comply with the American Disabilities Act (ADA), Civil Rights Act Title 6, and other workplace laws.
You can encourage staff to get vaccinated by taking time and effort to find out how individuals feel about the vaccine and providing factual information to help encourage hesitant employees.
The January webinar dives deeper into the vaccines, factors of vaccine hesitancy, monoclonal antibody (MABs) use in LTC, and much more. View the webinar here.