Many questions are swirling about COVID-19 vaccinations as they are being discussed heavily in the news. While there is still much yet to be known, MHCO is planning for the vaccine distribution at our campuses. This is an update as to where things currently stand, and to share as much information as possible.
It is welcome news that the CDC has prioritized vaccine distribution to those residing and working in long-term care settings (skilled nursing facilities and assisted living communities). The federal government has contracted with two nationwide pharmacies in order to roll-out mass distribution of these vaccines as quickly as possible once available. MHCO is partnered with CVS Health/Omnicare Pharmacy for our vaccine distribution.
The process as we understand it, is that the pharmacy will reach out to each campus and schedule at least three different clinic dates to administer the vaccine to all residents and staff who wish to participate. Prior to the clinic dates, the campus will receive vaccine consent forms, which will be provided to all residents and staff members. Only those who complete the vaccine consent form will be vaccinated on the day of the clinic(s). We will notify residents, families and staff of clinic dates as soon as we are made aware of them – look out for One-Call-Now and website updates. If you are having difficulty retrieving One-Call-Now voicemails, please be sure that your voicemail is setup, and that your mailbox is not full.
If you are interested in receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, consent forms can be downloaded here and turned into the front office of any MHCO campus.
Here are some frequently asked questions we have received in regards to this vaccine distribution;
Q: Who will the vaccines be made available to?
A: We are being told that at this time, those living and working in congregate care settings are being prioritized and will receive access to the vaccine during these initial clinics. To MHCO, this means those living and working in the main buildings at Mennonite Memorial Home, Maple Crest, Willow Ridge and Hilty Home.
Q: When will the vaccines be available?
A: No date has been set for any of the MHCO clinics at this time. Once a COVID-19 vaccine is authorized by the FDA and available, the US government will make a supply of the publicly funded vaccine available to the pharmacy for administration. The latest information we have received from the pharmacy indicates that the earliest an initial clinic date might be set would be late December.
Q: Are residents and/or staff required to be vaccinated?
A: No. It is each and every patient’s and/or responsible party’s right to refuse the COVID-19 vaccination.
Q: Will patients be charged for the vaccine?
A: No patient will be charged for the vaccine or its administration. The federal government will provide the vaccine, and the pharmacy will be reimbursed by the patient’s insurance, or in the case of the uninsured, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) program for uninsured patients.
Q: Which vaccine will be made available?
A: The type of vaccine made available to the pharmacy will be determined by the federal government’s allocation methodology. While we do not know which vaccine(s) will be available to us yet, we are being told that we will most likely be using a vaccine that will require two doses.
Q: Who will be administering the vaccines at the on-site clinics?
A: An appropriate practitioner from the pharmacy will administer the vaccines to residents and staff at the clinics. Personnel are trained and certified according to company and state specific regulations. All CVS pharmacists are trained in immunizations, CPR and OSHA.
Q: What are the side effects related to the COVID vaccine?
A: We will share all vaccine related information provided by the manufacturer once it is shared with us.
Q: Can patients receive other vaccines at the time of COVID administration?
A: No, no patient should receive the COVID vaccine if they have received other vaccines within 14 days.
At this time, this is the extent of the information we have. More updates will be provided as more information is gathered.