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First in Line: What you need to know about the vaccine rollout

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The CDC has made recommendations on a phased rollout. Here are some important facts to know:

Q: Who is getting the COVID vaccine first?

A: The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended that in the first phase of vaccination in the U.S., COVID-19 vaccines should be given to health care personnel and adult residents of long-term care facilities. The ACIP has also recommended that the next group to get a COVID vaccine in the U.S. should include people age 75 and older and frontline essential workers, such as first responders, teachers and public transit and grocery store workers.

The third priority group recommended to get the vaccine in the U.S. includes people ages 65 to 74, people ages 16 to 64 who are at high risk of severe COVID-19 due to underlying medical conditions and all other essential workers, such as those working in food service and construction. Examples of underlying medical conditions include type 2 diabetes and severe obesity.

Q:  Do I really need to get vaccinated?

A: Yes. You get vaccines to prevent you from getting an illness. Vaccines help your body build up the ability to fight off a virus. A COVID vaccine may not prevent you from getting the COVID-19 virus. But if you do get it, the vaccination may keep you from becoming seriously ill. Or, it may keep you from developing complications due to the illness. 

Q: Do I need two doses of the COVID vaccine?   

A:  Yes. The first shot starts building protection, but everyone has to come back a few weeks later for the second one to get the most protection the vaccine can offer.

Q:  How do I know the vaccine is safe? 

A: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carefully reviews all safety data from clinical trials and an authorized emergency vaccine use only when the expected benefits outweigh potential risks. Each COVID-19 vaccine was tested in large clinical trials to make sure it met safety standards. Many people were recruited to participate in these trials to see how the vaccine offers protection to people of different ages, races, and ethnicities, as well as those with different medical conditions.

Q: What are the possible side effects of taking the COVID vaccine?

A: The CDC states that most people do not have serious problems after being vaccinated. With any vaccination, the most common side effects are typically very mild, such as pain or swelling of the injection site. These symptoms usually go away on their own.

Q: If I’ve recovered from the virus, do I still need a COVID vaccine?

A: Yes. The CDC is seeing evidence of reinfection in patients. Early evidence suggests natural immunity from COVID-19 may not last very long, but more studies are needed to better understand this.

Q: Do I have to wear a mask after I get vaccinated?

A: It may take time for everyone who wants a COVID-19 vaccination to get one. Also, while the vaccine may prevent you from getting sick, it is unknown at this time if you can still carry and transmit the virus to others. Until more is understood about how well the vaccine works, continuing with precautions such as mask-wearing and physical distancing will be important.

Peregrine Vaccination Plan

The health and well-being of our residents, staff and their families is always our first concern at Peregrine Senior Living. A plan for rollout of vaccinations is underway, which involves finalizing a partnership with CVS Pharmacy to arrange clinics at our communities for residents to receive the vaccination. Click here to learn how you can be among the first to receive the vaccine →

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Written by
Stephen Sarsfield Bowman

More Articles By
Stephen Sarsfield Bowman

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