COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Altercare Integrated Health Services is committed to informing our residents and staff about the COVID-19 vaccines in advance of distribution, during the consent phase and when the vaccines are administered. Please check back often for updates or reach out to your local Altercare center for answers to your questions and more information.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Updated December 15, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended health care workers and long-term care residents at the highest level of priority for the first distributions of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Since this vaccine will be authorized under an emergency use authorization (EUA) it cannot be mandated by the federal government, but the EUA does not expressly prohibit an employer, state or locality from requiring vaccination. At this time, our company does NOT have plans to mandate the vaccine for residents or employees. Our team will continue to follow federal and state guidance as this situation evolves.

At Altercare, we believe that individuals should make informed decisions regarding their health care needs. We also recognize that COVID-19 presents a unique threat to the population we serve. Thus, we do recommend and encourage employees, residents and our community to receive the vaccine upon availability.

An EUA is based on the need to use a vaccine quickly to save lives during an urgent health crisis. While the EUA is a shorter process, no steps are skipped in the safety evaluation process. The FDA will re-evaluate the numbers and data to ensure that the calculations are correct. The FDA will assess if the vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh the known and potential risks. Both advisory boards (VRBPAC and ACIP) will also review all the data and information.

The vaccines currently being tested in clinical trials can cause short-term discomfort (such as headache, muscle pains, fatigue, chills, fever, and pain at injection site) in a percentage of the people who receive them. This is the effect of your body developing immunity. Clinical trial participants reported that the discomfort went away after a day, sometimes sooner. When you receive the second dose of the vaccine, the discomfort can be more pronounced. This does not mean that the vaccine has given you COVID-19. Rather, this means that the vaccine is causing your body’s immune system to react and create antibodies to fight off the virus. In other words, if you feel some discomfort, then the vaccine is doing its job!

Currently, there is not enough information available to say if or for how long after infection someone is protected from getting COVID-19 again.

Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available. Vaccines work with your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Other steps, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask and staying at least 6 feet away from others, help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.

Yes. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19.

Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before deciding to change recommendations on steps everyone should take to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision.

Each Altercare center is committed to informing employees, residents and families of vaccination plans and guidance as informed from community partners, as well as state and federal agencies.