The FDA has authorized both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19 Vaccine; The first in line to receive the vaccine are essential workers in the healthcare industry- this includes homecare caregivers.
The COVID-19 Vaccine significantly reduces the risk of infection from COVID-19. We strongly recommend and encourage our caregivers at VMT to get the COVID-19 Vaccination, as this will protect you, your co-workers, family, friends, and patients at VMT.
District of Columbia COVID-19 Vaccination Plan
As part of the District’s candid distribution of a safe and effective vaccine, the DC Health department launched a portal for workers in the health care field to have the ability to make an appointment to get vaccinated. During this time, the portal may only be accessed through the government website; Click Here. This portal is only for workers in health care settings that have direct or indirect exposure to COVID-19. When registering, workers need to authenticate that they work in these types of settings and present a source of verification at the time of their vaccine appointment. As a licensed Caregiver, you are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine right now.
“We are launching this portal as the next step in our Vaccination Plan to ensure that those individuals who work in our health care settings and are at highest risk of exposure and infection know where to go to get the vaccine,” said Dr. Ankoor Shah, Interim Principal Deputy Director for DC Health and the District’s COVID-19 Vaccine Program Lead.
How do we really know if COVID-19 vaccines are safe?
From the CDC: “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carefully reviews all safety data from clinical trials and authorizes emergency vaccine use only when the expected benefits outweigh potential risks. The FDA and CDC will continue to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, to make sure even very rare side effects are identified.”
How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?
From the CDC: “COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without us having to get the illness. Different types of vaccines work in different ways to offer protection, but with all types of vaccines, the body is left with a supply of “memory” T-lymphocytes as well as B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight that virus in the future.
It typically takes a few weeks for the body to produce T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes after vaccination. Therefore, it is possible that a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and then gets sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection.
Sometimes after vaccination, the process of building immunity can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity.”
How many doses of the vaccine do I have to get?
Two doses of the vaccine are needed. The CDC recommends a time period between the first and second dose to be 21 days for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 28 days for the Moderna Vaccine. It is important to get both vaccines of the SAME vaccine and to not mix and match, or the vaccine will not work as well.
The first shot helps the immune system recognize the virus and the second shot is used to strengthen the immune response. You need both to get maximum protection.
Some people may get protection after receiving the first dose, however, full protection is expected about 1 week after receiving the second dose.
Are the vaccines effective?
Several clinical trials have shown that both vaccines are about 95% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19.
What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines?
Common Side Effects can Include:
- Pain or swelling in your arm at the injection site
- Muscle aches and joint pains
Most symptoms tend to be mild to medium in intensity and appear within 3 days after receiving the vaccine and go away within 1 to 2 days. If these side effects last more than a few days or are increasing in pain or severity, please contact your local doctor as soon as possible.
For more information about the COVID-19 Vaccination, please visit the CDC Website for further information and for Frequently Asked Questions about the vaccine. For information regarding the vaccine for Washington, District of Columbia, please visit their Government Website.
VMT encourages all of our caregivers, clinicians, staff, and frontline workers to get the Covid 19 Vaccine. Our very own Princess G. recently got her first vaccine shot. We are very proud of Princess and applaud her for doing her part in fighting the virus. At VMT, we are committed to improving healthcare all year round, especially during these challenging times.