American Senior Communities continues to be unwavering in our mission to compassionately serve our residents with quality care and excellence.We were very happy to learn of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s first approval of a COVID-19 vaccine and are making plans to offer the vaccine to all residents and staff as soon as possible.
Continuing with our efforts to proactively communicate with residents and their families, we are pleased to share the below letter written to them about the vaccination from ASC Medical Director, Jose Pinon M.D. and Donna Kelsey, CEO.Answers to frequently asked questions about the vaccine can be found by visitingASCCare.com/COVID19update.
We continue to be in close contact with local, state and federal health authorities, following their guidance, mandates and reporting requirements.The residents and families we serve are very important to us and while the vaccine brings new hope in the fight against COVID-19, we will continue to move forward with compassion and an overabundance of caution and quality care.
Dear Resident/Family Members,
By now you have probably learned that COVID-19 vaccines will soon be approved and ready for distribution to the public. We have long awaited this exciting news, and expect that our health care staff and residents will be among the first to receive these vaccines.
We understand that some of you may be concerned about the safety of these new vaccines, as they have been developed and tested far more quickly than those in the past. We want to assure you that the speed with which these vaccines were developed is not due to skipping important safety steps, but rather the result of focused, collaborative work performed by experts across the globe. Vaccines approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have undergone the same level of rigorous testing for safety and efficacy as other vaccines, and have been tested in tens of thousands of people, including older adults. Two independent advisory committees of experts from academic institutions also monitor vaccines to ensure their safety.
Most of the COVID-19 vaccines require two separate doses given about three or four weeks apart, depending on the vaccine. Participants of clinical trials have reported experiencing short-term side effects after being vaccinated, with more pronounced discomfort after the second dose. These possible side effects include headache, muscle pains, fatigue, chills, fever and pain at the injection site. Sometimes there is misunderstanding about the cause of these reactions, as you may have heard someone say a vaccine has “made them sick” or given them the disease that the vaccine was intended to prevent. We want to be clear that this is not the case. The COVID-19 vaccine cannot you give you a COVID-19 infections of disease. The vaccine works by helping the body create antibodies to fight off the virus. Feeling discomfort after getting the vaccine means that the vaccine is doing its job and your body is making antibodies.
We, along with thousands of other senior care communities, are participating in a program with the Centers for Disease Control to help us most efficiently distribute these vaccines to our residents free of charge once they are available. We will keep you informed of this process as we move forward. Our staff will also have the opportunity to get vaccinated through this program, if they have not been vaccinated previously.
I encourage you to reach out to us if you have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, its possible side effects, and what to expect after you or a loved one receives it. As we have been saying over the course of this difficult year, we are all in this together. Please know that the safety and wellbeing of our staff and residents have been and remain our top priority. We are confident that the worldwide, unprecedented scientific achievement of these COVID-19 vaccines will eventually enable to us enjoy life with our loved ones again. We look forward to doing our part in this effort by getting the COVID-19 vaccine, and hope you will join us.
Dr. Jose Pinon, Senior V.P. Medical Affairs
Donna Kelsey, Chief Executive Officer