Forever, 2020 will be associated with lockdowns, isolation, sickness, and death. This is particularly true for post-acute and long-term care where 2,000 residents have died every week.  As tragic as this statistic is, it also is a reminder of fact that we have an incredible opportunity to make a huge difference in the mortality rate just by focusing the initial rounds of vaccines on this very vulnerable population.

2021 can be a year where numbers mean good news—more vaccinations, fewer COVID cases, and more recoveries, even for those residents who are frail. 

Welcoming a brand new year with hope for an end to the pandemic and the rise of a universal vaccine program remains our priority now and for all of  2021.

A Number to Look Forward To

A healthcare advisory panel and the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) agrees that long-term care residents and all frontline healthcare workers should be immunized as soon as possible; and this view is shared by many professional organizations, legislators, policymakers, and others. They believe that if this is done in the next 60 days, we can cut the overall COVID death rate by 40% — just by getting those initial four or five million doses out to this very vulnerable population.

Our Mission is Clear – We Have an Obligation to Act

Healthcare personnel and the public have questions about vaccines, and many organizations are sharing information about the vaccination programs and the vaccines. Make sure your teams, patients, and other stakeholders get their information not from social media and friends but rather from science-based sources and clinical evidence. 

Below are links to reliable sites, but—in the meantime—start with a few facts:  

#1 Healthcare workers, even if you have had COVID, should be immunized. 

💉Protect yourself, your family, your patients, and the community

💉Both available vaccines are over 94% effective against the infection

💉Mild side effects (aches, tiredness, sore arm) mean a vaccine is working

💉Neither vaccine contains COVID-19 so it will not cause an infection

💉Most vaccines require 2 doses, 3-4 weeks apart, to be effective

#2 When will life get back to normal? The answer is not easy.

😷 About 70% of the population needs to be immunized for herd immunity

😷 Until then masks and other PPE will be required

😷 Everyone has to continue in practices recommended by scientists

#3 We owe it to our frail patients and our loved ones to be vaccinated.

 

CDC: Answering Patients Questions CDC:  About COVID-19 vaccines

CDC:  Provider Resources for COVID-19 AMDA: COVID-19 Toolkit

Like all of you, the Patient Pattern Team is hoping for a healthier year for our frail residents and all our amazing co-workers who have demonstrated compassion and care throughout this VERY challenging time. We look forward to working with you to ensure the best possible quality of care and life for all older Americans in our care in 2021 and beyond.