Senior Alternatives

Care Management and Home Care Services
Vaccine Q and A

January 21, 2021

Since last March we have all been living under a cloud, one known as COVID-19. This pandemic is a once-in-a-century event, and is currently killing up to 4,000 Americans a day. It has been especially lethal among the elderly. Home care services, caregivers, and senior care facilities are working hard to provide the safest and best care possible. Senior facilities have the additional challenge of making sure that all residents are physically distancing themselves and sheltering in place when it is called for. There are a lot of challenges to overcome! 


In order to control this virus, serious steps need to be taken, starting with the vaccine. Hopefully the following Q and A will help to convince anyone on the fence about getting the vaccine. 


Common Questions and Answers: 

  • How did scientists develop and test this vaccine so quickly? It’s true, most vaccines take 5-10 years to develop and test. But the COVID-19 vaccine was fast-tracked by scientists from around the world who collaborated, and governments opened funding sources. So many people volunteered for the clinical trials that scientists were able to test enough people to determine the vaccines are safe.


  • I heard that there were a lot of bad reactions to the vaccine. Only 11 individuals out of 1 million suffer a serious reaction, such as anaphylaxis, which is why people are asked to remain onsite for 15 minutes. You might experience some swelling at the injection site and a little pain. Some people have complained of feeling achy. If these symptoms occur, they are most often gone in 24 hours. Anyone who has a caregiver or who receives senior assistance will have the reassurance that a caregiver will keep a close eye on them.


  • Pfizer isn’t as good as Moderna’s vaccine. The only major difference between the two is that Pfizer must be stored in below freezing temperatures and has a shelf life of 5 days. Moderna doesn’t need to store theirs in such extreme cold and has a shelf life of 28 days. 


  • What is herd immunity and how do we get there? In order to reach a level of immunity nationwide, 70% of the population must be vaccinated. This includes senior assisted communities, caregivers, front line responders, teachers, and those over 65 years of age. Once we reach this 70% threshold we can expect to see the rate of transmission stunted. The contagion level will be far less. 


  • I thought this was a disease that mostly targeted the elderly. The elderly are at the most risk, but anyone commingling in large groups, such as students or large family gatherings, pose a serious threat of contracting the disease and spreading it to one another. Some of the biggest challenges have been in senior facilities, multigenerational households, and people who do not wear a mask in public. 


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In order to control this virus, serious steps need to be taken, starting with the COVID-19 vaccine. Hopefully the Q and A will help to convince anyone on the fence about getting the vaccine. 

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