ii. Healthcare Staff Questions

III. COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

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ii. Healthcare Staff Questions

Healthcare staff, along with all members of the community who are age 12 or over, may now receive COVID-19 vaccine.

Staff working in the hospitals—including pharmacists, clerks and janitors are considered high-risk because of potential for exposure in the workplace. At this time, staff working in hospitals are considered as part of Phase 1a. If you are working in a facility that has been identified as “Phase 1a”, reach out to your supervisor for further guidance of vaccine availability.

From the ACIP decision from December 1, 2020, residents of Long-Term Care Facilities (LTCFs), which includes Skilled Nursing Facilities, are considered to be part of Phase 1a. Residents of these LTCF desiring a vaccine should speak with their physician or health care facility to learn more about how to get a vaccine. LTCF will have partnerships with CVS and Walgreens. In Orange County, vaccines began to be distributed to LTCFs beginning on December 28, 2020 and have been ongoing since that date. Residents of these facilities should inquire to their facility staff concerning  regarding when they are able to get vaccines through the partnering retail pharmacies.

The Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for use by the FDA using an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The regulations for an EUA state that vaccine recipients “have the option to accept or refuse the EUA product and of any consequences of refusing administration of the product.” This means that as long as the vaccines are administered under an EUA, no one can be required to take it. If vaccines get full approval and licensure in the future, then it is possible that vaccination could be required.

In the initial phases of vaccine release, one would not be given the option on vaccine manufacturer and will have to accept whichever vaccine is available. As more and more companies complete phase 3 trials, more vaccine manufacturers are likely to submit EUA applications. With time, it is anticipated that more vaccine companies may be granted EUA, in which case more options may be available for one to select from. If more than one vaccine company is granted an EUA, once vaccine supplies become more readily available, one may have more options to choose from a variety of companies in 2021. Once a person gets the initial dose of a specific brand, it is recommended to complete that brand as per the manufacturer recommendations. It is recommended to not get doses from different vaccine manufacturers at this time.

Please refer to your employer’s occupational health policy and protocol for guidance.

Call your doctor if you have any symptoms that concern you after you get vaccinated.

Participate in CDC’s v-safe information tool to track side effects: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/vsafe.html

NOTE: If your employer or vaccine provider uses Othena, it can also be used to track side effects. It interfaces with the various systems and can assist with tracking and monitoring side-effects, providing 2nd dose reminder and scheduling for testing and/or vaccination.