Ashton Place held our first COVID-19 vaccine clinic on Monday, January 11th, 2021. Monday was the first of three clinics, and almost all of the staff and residents received their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine. The first of the follow-up clinics will be on February 1st, and the last clinic will be 21 days after that, on February 22nd.
Bringing the Vaccine to Ashton Place
Ashton Place’s leadership team has been monitoring the status of the most promising vaccines for many months now. As anticipated, the FDA provided Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for two vaccines in mid-December of 2020. Ashton Place’s leadership then worked with our pharmacy partner, HealthDirect, to coordinate a vaccine clinic. This process went smoothly and lead to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine being administered this Monday.
Both vaccines appear to be very effective in all the tests so far. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in particular has been shown to be 95% effective, which made it an ideal candidate for protecting the residents and staff here at Ashton Place. This, combined with the annual vaccine against influenza, provides residents with a significant level of protection against contagious diseases.
Preparing for the Vaccine
Ashton Place has plenty of experience coordinating flu vaccine clinics each year. The COVID-19 vaccine is different in several ways, but we were still able to build on that existing knowledge as we prepared for this new vaccine. Both staff and residents received training about the vaccine. The training covered the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the new vaccine and how it works, the process of administering the vaccine, and what to do for follow-up and monitoring, including awareness of side effects. For reference, the CDC lists the following side effects:
In the arm where you got the shot:
Throughout the rest of your body:
For family members and others who did not need specific training for the vaccine, we shared resources from the CDC, including the EUA fact sheet. We distributed that fact sheet (available here) to staff, residents, and family members. It covers the virus that causes COVID-19, how the vaccine works, its ingredients, potential side effects, and other general information.
Administering the Vaccine
Ashton Place has had a long relationship with HealthDirect and has previous experience hosting flu vaccine clinics. This helped us provide over 100 of our staff and residents with the vaccine during the clinic on Monday.
The vaccine itself uses mRNA to train the body to fight COVID, but doesn’t include any of the actual virus itself. The advantage of this type of vaccine is that you cannot contract COVID-19 from the vaccine. This means that the only immediate monitoring necessary was to ensure that nobody had an allergic reaction after receiving the vaccine. Staff monitored each person for 15 minutes post vaccine, and there were no allergic reactions.
What Happens Next
Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine requires two doses, so a second clinic will be held on February 1st. At that clinic, anyone who received their first dose in January will receiver their second dose. That second dose completes their course of the vaccine.
In addition, anyone who missed the first clinic will have a chance to get their first dose on February 1st. Then, there will then be a third and final clinic 21 days later, on February 22nd, where those individuals will receive their second dose.
It is important that staff and residents who would like to get the vaccine sign a consent form, so our administrator will continue to provide those forms to anyone who needs them in the next few weeks. If you have any questions, please give us a call at 315-462-3140 or reach out via our Contact Us page.