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Your Choice. Everyone’s Benefit.

Wearing a mask and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to COVID-19 or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. By choosing to get vaccinated, you are choosing H.O.P.E. (Helping to Overcome the Pandemic for Everyone). Your individual choice gives us the chance to end this pandemic, together. Please visit our Vaccination Clinic page to find the dates the campuses will be offering the vaccine to our co-workers.

Below you will find questions submitted by your fellow co-workers about the COVID-19 vaccinations and the answers from our Home Office clinical and HR teams based on available information from health agencies (and is subject to change if new details are published). If you have a question that isn’t addressed below, please complete the anonymous form at the bottom of this page. It will be sent to our clinical and HR teams to provide the best answer possible. Be sure to check back often for updates. We hope this information provides helpful references in making your choice to be vaccinated.

Safety of the Vaccine

The vaccines from both Pfizer and Moderna are showing 94-95% efficacy in preventing COVID-19 during this trial phase.

None of the vaccines contains live or killed viral particles so there is no chance of getting the disease from the vaccines. On the contrary, the goal is to give your body the tools it needs to fight COVID-19 effectively and/or prevent you from getting it at all.

Know that during the U.S. trials no significant safety concerns were identified. Short-term immune responses are mild to moderate in severity. They may include fever, headaches and muscle aches and occur within the first three days of vaccination. This is because the 1st shot primes the immune system, helping it recognize the virus, and the 2nd shot strengthens the immune response. These responses are normal and are signs your body is building up immunity.

mRNA technology is being used in the vaccine development and already has been successfully used in cancer treatments.

No steps are skipped in the safety evaluation process. The development of the vaccine was able to be accelerated due to:

  • Emergency government funding availability to start vaccine production prior to trial completion;
  • Experts around the world working together on the same problem in an unprecedented way never done before;
  • Steps in the process happened simultaneously vs. sequentially.

The COVID-19 vaccines are being held to the same safety standards as all vaccines. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Advisory Committee of Immunization Practices which is an independent body of qualified scientific and clinical experts review all the safety data before recommending use

A video shared over thousands of times on Facebook makes false claims about the optional microchip that could be contained within the vaccine. The video alleges the microchip “would give officials information on who has and has not been vaccinated” and “track the location of the patient.” These claims are false. There is an optional identification chip that could be part of the syringe’s label which would allow the healthcare provider to confirm the vaccine has not expired. This technology is purely optional, and the U.S. government hasn’t even decided if they’re going to use it.

From the recent trials, a two-dose regimen of the Pfizer vaccine resulted in 95% protection against COVID-19 in individuals 16 years of age or older. Based on these results combined with continuing to wear PPE, our enhanced disinfection practices and equipment, and testing where warranted and directed, we are better positioned to minimize spread.

Access to the Vaccine

Yes, plans for the roll-out at all of our campuses are underway. According to the government program, staff and residents of long-term care facilities are included in the 1st prioritized group. Both current staff and residents will have access to receive the vaccine through these campus clinics. Please visit our vaccination clinic page and click on your campus to see when the CVS pharmacy is planning to give the vaccine.

Yes, all co-workers, including those in non-direct care positions, are considered healthcare professionals and qualify within this 1st prioritized group.

Although we are not mandating the COVID-19 vaccine at this time, we know the higher the herd immunity level we create, the safer our communities will be for all who live and work there. We strongly encourage every one of our co-workers to research and understand the benefits of helping to end this pandemic through vaccination.

At those campuses for whom our pharmacy partner scheduled three dates, the dates are staggered based on the required timing in between doses. Our goal is to vaccinate as many individuals in the first clinic and then administer their second dose in the second clinic. The third clinic then serves as a catch-up for any new residents or staff who may have received their first dose at the second clinic.

Since these currently are the only on-campus clinics our pharmacy partner has scheduled to administer the vaccine, we are using them to the fullest capacity.

It is recommended by the Dept. of Health and the vaccine manufacturers to use the same vendor/source for both doses. If you have a special circumstance (you were vaccinated at a former employer’s clinic), please see your supervisor.

Like our staff, we will provide education and answer any questions they (or their families) have. However, we will not mandate the vaccination at this time. We hope both our staff and residents see this as a necessary alternative to the unfortunate number of seniors impacted during this pandemic. Their vaccination also will hasten the return to normalcy with family visits and socialization.

The vaccine is free to everyone. There is an administrative cost (about $50 for both doses), but if you do not have insurance, you just state that, and the pharmacy charges this cost to the federalCoronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. There will be no cost for the vaccination to the recipient.

The U.S. government is covering the cost of the vaccine, but CVS will charge an administration fee for time and services of their staff providing the clinic. This will be charged to your health insurance. Country Meadows and Ecumenical Retirement Community will cover any expenses associated with our beneficiaries.

We are so glad to hear that—thank you for doing your part to help protect yourself, your fellow team members and residents. We need you to participate in these upcoming clinics. Your campus team will contact you directly to complete a consent form issued from CVS prior to the clinics so they know exactly how many doses to bring. (NOTE: the Nursing Center has begun distributing the CVS consent form to residents and staff for the upcoming January 4 clinic.)

The CDC recommends waiting 14 days after recovery from COVID before receiving the vaccine. This would be at least 28 days from the onset of symptoms.

Human Resources Guidelines

We hope every staff member will choose to be vaccinated to help build immunity to the virus. However, vaccinations will not drive or change our staffing plans. We will continue with co-horting to support both positive- and negative-case residents and, if and when we have staffing challenges in any neighborhood or building, adjust assignments where and when needed as we have always done. If you have specific concerns, please discuss with your supervisor or Campus Executive Director.

Yes. Until enough of the population is vaccinated for us to feel confident there will not be transmission to those who are not vaccinated, we will continue wearing masks, our enhanced disinfection practices and equipment and testing where warranted and as directed by health authorities.

We will determine this on a case-by-case basis, but the Vice President of Operations team will have authority to grant PTO coverage for side effects from the vaccine, as warranted.

We will keep the current adjusted Short Term Disability policy in place and reassess it as the vaccine rolls out.

Details Unique To You

It is important to know the sources of information you read, especially on social media. Several falsely-claiming social media posts stated there is “a link between the spike protein formed by receiving the mRNA-based (COVID-19) vaccines and blockage of a protein necessary for formation of and adherence to the uterus of the human placenta.” They are NOT the same protein. At ALL. Read more fact-based information.

Another great resource for your consideration of being vaccinated is the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Immunization, Infectious Disease, and Public Health Preparedness Expert Work Group.

As for male infertility, experts are more concerned about the impacts of the virus itself rather than the vaccine. Researchers have found the virus, not the vaccine, can affect sperm quality, potentially contributing to infertility problems in some individuals.

And of course, always consult your doctor with any questions about your health.

Immunizing pregnant and lactating women is recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. If you have questions or concerns, we recommend you consult with your primary care physician or OB/GYN for the best guidance.

Because the Black community has been one of the most affected by this horrible virus, it is even more critical you be vaccinated to offer protection. Several Black organizations have offered resources for more information and facts to help individuals consider vaccination:

We advise everyone to discuss the vaccine with their primary care physician if they are unsure of their individual risks.

It is recommended to not get these two vaccines, or any vaccines, close together to assure the best immune response. You should space these vaccines at least two-three weeks apart. We will suspend flu shot administration as of January 1 in anticipation of our COVID vaccine clinics.

Although you should wait until the active illness is over, studies have shown antibodies developed by the confirmed virus only last for 90 days. The vaccine is likely to last longer.

Yes. CVS is required to have epi-pens on site for all clinics. If you have an adverse immune response, it would occur within one hour of vaccination.

If you have more questions, please consider asking our Home Office clinical and HR teams directly or submitting a question through our anonymous online form below. We will add new questions and our response to the information above. Though if you provide your email address, we can respond to you directly. We want to provide as much education as possible for staff to participate. We welcome any questions you may have.

  • If you want to be contacted directly please fill out the below info:

Contact us today!
  • Allentown: 610-395-7160
  • Bethlehem: 610-865-5580
  • Forks of Easton: 484-544-3880
  • Frederick: 301-228-2249
  • Hershey: 717-533-1880
  • Mechanicsburg: 717-975-3434
  • Nursing & Rehab Center: 610-844-9003
  • South Hills of Pittsburgh: 412-257-4581
  • Wyomissing: 610-374-3122
  • York South: 717-741-5118
  • York West: 717-764-1190