Posted: December 10, 2020
UPDATE: Our next vaccination clinic is scheduled for February 10th. We strongly encourage that every medically eligible resident and team member to receive the vaccine. It is the only way to bring an end to the negative impact on our community by this world-wide pandemic.
Heritage Crossing is registered for the first phase of COVID-19 Vaccine distribution.
The vaccine is now available in the United States, and Heritage Crossing is ready to receive the vaccine to protect residents and associates in our community as soon as it is available to us. As a Cappella managed community, Heritage Crossing is registered for the first phase of the vaccine. Priority distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine will go to seniors and healthcare workers who are at the most risk of contracting the virus. We remain in constant communication with the Ohio Health Department, the CDC, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as details of the distribution process continue to develop.
We want to share with you what we know now about the vaccine, how it will be distributed, what we are doing to keep associates, residents, and families informed about the process, and our continued commitment to testing, virus mitigation, and the overall quality of life for residents.
How will it be administered?
Ohio, as well as each state, has its own specific timeline and process for distribution and administration of the vaccine. Ohio will first need to decide whether they are going to use Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccine or both. We anticipate Ohio will support and follow the CDC tier guidelines for distribution but that has not yet been confirmed.
Heritage Crossing is registered with the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program. We will work with our assigned pharmacy, CVS, who will store, distribute, and administer the vaccine, which is free of charge to residents and team members. The pharmacy will also:
• Order vaccines and associated supplies (e.g., syringes, needles, personal protective equipment).
• Ensure cold chain management for the vaccine.
• Report all required vaccination data to the local, state, and federal jurisdictions within 72 hours of administering each dose.
• Adhere to all applicable Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) COVID-19 testing requirements.
Heritage Crossing will not have any authority over setting up the time and dates of those vaccinations. The Pharmacy will be in charge of scheduling and the availability of the vaccine. The pharmacy will then come to our community to administer the vaccines to residents and associates. Three visits over approximately two months will likely be needed to administer both doses and vaccinate new residents. If the resident or team member receives the Pfizer vaccine they must wait 21 days before receiving their second dose. If the resident or team member receives the Moderna vaccine then they must wait 28 days before their second dose. The vaccine starts to become effective 2 weeks after the second dose has been administered.
Some of the details of how and when and who will get the vaccine first are still being worked out. At the moment, we believe team members will be included and that the first tier to receive the vaccine will be residents of skilled nursing, assisted living, and memory care communities. We are waiting to hear if residential (independent) living residents and team members will also be included in the first-tier distribution.
How soon will residents and associates receive the vaccine?
The FDA has approved the Pfizer vaccine as of December 10th and approved the Moderna vaccine as of December 18th. The 2-dose vaccines have been reported as being 95% effective. The soonest vaccines could be administered in Ohio would be December 21st for Pfizer and December 28th for Moderna.
Even though the vaccine is right around the corner we are not out of this pandemic yet. It is important to continue to follow public safety guidelines including physical distancing, frequent hand-washing, limiting group gatherings, restricting nonessential travel, and wearing a mask while we wait for a COVID-19 vaccine.
Watch a recorded FB Live event from Cappella President and CEO Jill Vitale-Aussem and clinical experts as they separate vaccine fact from fiction.