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The COVID-19 Vaccine is Here!

For long-term care providers who have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 fight, it’s gratifying to be recognized among America’s highest priority for the vaccine. Long-term care employees have made it their personal responsibility, both at work and at home, to take the necessary precautions in order to safely care for America’s most vulnerable population and the many members of our Greatest Generation.

The COVID-19 vaccine will be a welcome new tool in the fight against COVID-19 in long-term care communities. Based on what’s known about vaccines for other diseases, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may help keep individuals from getting seriously ill even if they do get COVID-19. This virus can have serious, life-threatening complications, and there is no way to know how it will affect each person. What’s more concerning is how people who are experiencing no symptoms could be silent carriers, spreading the disease to friends, family, and others unknowingly.

Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce one’s chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. The COVID-19 vaccine will work to help an individual’s immune system be ready to fight the virus if the person is exposed. For example, both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines work similarly. Each requires two-doses given approximately 28 days apart. Both vaccines appear to be incredibly safe and effective – with a 95% efficacy after taking the 2nd dose. These COVID-19 mRNA vaccines give instructions for a person’s cells to make a harmless piece of what is called the “spike protein.” The spike protein is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19. Keep in mind, these mRNA vaccines will not give someone COVID-19 since they do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19.

According to the CDC, getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you. For more vaccine information, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html. Learn more about the multi-pronged efforts to protect against the virus in long-term care communities at www.SrCare.org/coronavirus-update.

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