We are pleased that federal and state officials have prioritized long-term care residents and their caregivers for early COVID-19 vaccinations. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is one of the best ways to protect those living in and receiving care in our communities. The news of a vaccine gives us hope for the next chapter in our fight against this virus.
Ebenezer communities have been among the first to receive the recently approved COVID-19 vaccine.
In cooperation with the government’s distribution to pharmacies, we have begun administering the very first vaccines to staff and residents in our skilled care communities, and have now started to vaccinate staff and residents within Assisted Living and Memory Care communities. Right now, we are only planning to vaccinate Independent Living residents in our Assisted Living communities. Eventually we will offer the vaccinate to residents in our free-standing rental, cooperative and condominium communities.
How we will administer the vaccine
Our Pharmacy will vaccinate residents – including Independent Living residents who reside in communities that provide Assisted Living services. Our site nurses will vaccinate staff members.
The vaccine will be administered in 2 doses. After receiving the first dose, the recipient must receive a second dose. It is important to get the SAME MANUFACTURED VACCINE as the first dose.
To ensure that we are getting the vaccine to those who need it most, we will not vaccinate staff or residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days. We will vaccinate these individuals at a later date.
We strongly encourage staff and residents to get vaccinated
At this time, we are not requiring that all staff and residents get the vaccine, however, we are strongly encouraging it. Vaccinating a significant majority of staff and residents is the only way we will be able to stop the spread of the virus.
About the vaccine
As part of our continuing effort to provide up-to-date information, we have included the latest information from the CDC along with links to their website.
Potential side effects
As with any vaccine, your body may react to the vaccine as those antibodies are being made. Not everyone will experience this reaction. Below are the most common:
When will I be protected? How long will I be immune?
We will most likely not know how long the vaccine will be protective once we receive it. We will know more as more time passes in the current research. It is possible we may need to have vaccine shots for COVID-19 on a regular basis (like the flu shot).
How many people need to get a COVID- 19 vaccine for herd immunity?
Herd immunity means that enough people in a community are protected from getting a disease because they’ve already had the disease or they’ve been vaccinated. Herd immunity makes it hard for the disease to spread from person to person, and it even protects those who cannot be vaccinated, like newborns.
While experts don’t yet know what percentage of people would need to get vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, vaccination is a safer way to build protection than getting sick with COVID-19. Have a question about COVID-19 vaccines? Click here.
Will we still need to wear face masks?
Similar to other types of vaccines, a large number of people in the community will need to get vaccinated before transmission drops enough to stop the use of masks.
Is the vaccine safe?
Can Ebenezer residents and staff give consent or decline the vaccine?
Our residents and staff will be asked about their interest in receiving the vaccination and will be asked to sign a consent at some point prior to the vaccination being administered. If they choose to decline, they will be asked to sign a declination. The declination is not binding. Those within our community can receive the vaccine later, if they change their minds.
It is important to get information from reliable sources (CDC, AMDA, medical directors, medical providers, etc.). Here are some link to information:
CDC: Vaccines & Immunizations
CDC: About COVID-19 Vaccines
CDC: Provider Resources for COVID-19 Vaccine Conversations with Patients and Answering Patients’ Questions
Leading Age Minnesota