When will the COVID-19 vaccine be available?
Will it be available for all SSL residents?
The CDC anticipates a limited supply of the vaccine at first. Due to the limited supply, the CDC along with the National Academy of Medicine has prioritized distribution of the vaccine.
We are working closely with our health care team to monitor vaccine supply and distribution timelines.
Is the vaccine safe?
The side effects, if any, have been mild. If you have concerns, you should discuss them with your physician.
If you would like more information about the safety of the vaccine, please visit the CDC’s website page Ensuring the Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines in the United States.
Will I have to pay for the vaccine?
We have a contract with CVS Pharmacy to distribute and administer the vaccine to our residents and associates. We have been told there will be no cost for the vaccine; however, we anticipate our pharmacy partner will file the proper paperwork with residents’ health insurance providers to be reimbursed for administering the vaccine.
How many shots of the vaccine are needed?
According to the CDC, all but one of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in Phase 3 clinical trials in the United States need two shots to be effective. The other COVID-19 vaccine uses one shot. At this point, we do not know which vaccine will be available to our residents and associates.
Is the vaccine mandatory for residents?
We strongly encourage all of our residents to get the vaccine. If a resident opts to not get the vaccine, he or she will likely have restrictions when it comes to community activities, outings, visitors and group dining.
Is the vaccine mandatory for associates who work in my community?
Our associates serve many residents who fall into the CDC’s “critical populations” category, and we put the safety of our residents first. We are strongly encouraging all of our associates to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
What if I don’t want to get the vaccine?
We strongly encourage all residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The COVID-19 virus has been particularly hard on older populations and for those living in a communal setting. If you have any concerns about getting vaccinated, please let the executive director know or talk to your physician.
Will you require new residents to have the vaccine before they move in?
We are strongly recommending new residents get the COVID-19 vaccine before they move into the community. If they haven’t received the vaccine prior to moving in, they will be included in any vaccine clinics that take place at their community.
What if associates working in my community refuse to get vaccinated?
COVID-19 vaccines are strongly encouraged for our associates. Our associates serve many residents who fall into the CDC’s “critical populations” category, and we put the safety of our residents first. We expect and encourage all of our associates to receive the vaccine unless they have a valid medical reason or a religious belief that prohibits them from getting the vaccine.
If my family members get a vaccine, can they visit me in my residence?
There are still a lot of unanswered questions about the vaccine. We will seek the guidance of the local health department and our health care team before deciding on visits in residents’ apartments or in our communities. We are looking forward to the day when families can be reunited in this way. We ask for your continued patience as we navigate the next phase of COVID-19.
Do I still have to wear a mask?
Yes. Until further notice, you will need to wear a mask to protect others and yourself. We will continue to follow local, state and federal guidelines when it comes to wearing a mask.
How long after getting the vaccine will we have to follow COVID protocols (masks, temperature and symptoms checks, and social distancing)?
We don’t have an answer to that question right now. We will seek guidance from our health care team and continue to follow any protocols in place on the federal, state and local levels. We do know that it will likely take months for the vaccine to be administered to the general population.
How long does it take the vaccine to be effective?
Since the COVID-19 vaccine is new, we can’t answer that question. We will continue to monitor the CDC, the FDA, and Department of Health and Human Services for updates.
Will the vaccine interfere with any of my daily medications?
If you have any concerns about the vaccine, please talk to your physician.
Where can I get the most up-to-date information on the vaccine?
The CDC website has a section dedicated to the COVID-19 vaccines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html.
You can also visit our Vaccine page for more specific information about how ISL (SSL) is preparing to use the vaccine.