Hello Residents, Resident Representatives, Family, Staff and the Community
As we approach the end of 2020, we are optimistic the COVID-19 vaccines we hear so much about in the news will soon be made available to Park Manor residents and staff as part of the federal government’s plan to put an end to the COVID epidemic.
COVID-19 has adversely affected much of our daily lives and those of our residents and families this year. As healthcare providers, it is our responsibility to do everything in our power to protect our vulnerable resident population. When the idea of a vaccine being available for use by the end of 2020 first came out, we were apprehensive. Our understanding of vaccine development was that this process takes many years and many trials to assure efficacy and safety. By researching the process and learning about the technology utilized for this vaccine, we are now very optimistic about a COVID-19 vaccine as an avenue out of this pandemic.
Over the past 50 years our society has seen great successes in vaccinations resulting in the eradication of devastating and debilitating diseases such as small pox and polio, as well as the ability to greatly reduce the incidence of measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, and influenza to name a few. The expectation of the COVID-19 vaccination is to control the amount of the population that can get infected and spread the infection to the weak and vulnerable in our communities. COVID-19 is especially devastating for those who are immunocompromised, anyone with underlying health conditions, such as heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, and the elderly. Although many who are infected may have mild to moderate illness that they will recover from, they can inadvertently infect these populations of people, who will most likely not recover.
This vaccine has been developed with emerging technology that has been studied for the last decade. mRNA technology, uses the body’s own processes our human cells use to make proteins to trigger an immune response to the genetic mRNA of the spike protein of the virus. Then when you are exposed to the actual virus, your body’s immune system will respond to the recognition of that spike protein and attack it before you can get infected. The vaccine does not contain a live virus, eliminating the risk of causing disease in the vaccinated person. The mRNA strand never enters the human cell nucleus or affects human genetic material.
In the coming weeks, Park Manor is partnering with Walgreens, through the Long Term Care Partnership, and Price County Public Health to provide resident and staff vaccinations. We strongly encouraging all residents and staff to participate in these programs and get vaccinated for COVID-19. The more individuals that participate the higher the chances COVID-19 will be eliminated as a deadly virus. In the last week Park Manor has provided information to residents and their resident representatives, including vaccination authorization forms, to assure as soon as the vaccination are ready, we will be providing them. We don’t have any specific dates available to us yet but are hopeful it will be sometime at the end of this month or early next month.
If you have questions or would like to further discuss the COVID-19 vaccine and our process for administration, please feel free to contact Heidi Prellwitz, RN, DON, NHA, our vaccination program coordinator.