COVID-19 Vaccine Facts for Seniors

by | Assisted Living, Independent Living

It’s wonderful news that the FDA has approved COVID-19 vaccines, and especially that some seniors, like those at Navion communities, have priority access in getting vaccinated. However, we understand that some may be anxious about the vaccines or at the very least have questions about getting vaccinated. The Navion Team is here to help with these COVID-19 vaccine facts for seniors based on information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Which seniors have priority access in getting the COVID-19 vaccine?

The CDC has provided recommendations to federal, state, and local governments about who should be vaccinated first. Residents in community settings like Navion Senior Solutions are among the initial distribution groups, in what’s known at Phase 1a. Then, seniors living at home will be in either Phase 1 b (75 years and older) or Phase 1 c (65 – 74 years old).

Why should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Seniors are at high risk for severe medical complications from COVID-19 and the vaccine is a safe and effective tool that can not only help protect you from getting this dangerous virus but also help stop the spread of the virus. For residents of Navion senior living communities, being among the first to get vaccinated offers tremendous peace of mind. Not to mention they can start getting back to the life they love again, and enjoy the togetherness with friends and family that they have dearly missed – even sooner!

How does the vaccine work at Navion communities?

There are two currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines in the United States and each requires two shots to get the most protection:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech: Doses should be given 3 weeks (21 days) apart
  • Moderna: Doses should be given 1 month (28 days) apart

You should get your second shot as close to the recommended 3-week or 1-month interval as possible although not earlier than the recommended interval.

These vaccines can protect you from COVID-19 by strengthening your immune system and helping it to recognize and fight the virus.

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe?

The FDA has granted Emergency Use Authorizations for the COVID-19 vaccines above. Clinical trials for all vaccines must first show they meet rigorous criteria for safety and effectiveness before any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines, can be authorized or approved for use. 

In addition, the CDC has developed a new tool, known as v-safe, as an additional layer of monitoring to rapidly detect any safety issues with COVID-19 vaccines. V-safe is a smartphone-based, after-vaccination health checker for people who receive COVID-19 vaccines.

What are possible side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?

As with any vaccine, some people may have mild side effects, but this is a normal sign your body is building protection. While side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, they should go away in a few days. Rest assured, our dedicated team is closely monitoring Navion community residents who have received the vaccine and will continue to do so to ensure their well-being.

Side effects can include: Pain, redness or swelling on the arm where you received the shot; fever; chills; tiredness and/or headache.

In addition, the COVID-19 vaccines being used in the United States don’t contain the live virus that causes COVID-19 so they cannot make you sick with it. 

If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated for it?

Yes. Not only because of the severe health risks associated with COVID-19, but also the fact that reinfection with COVID-19 is possible. Keep in mind that experts do not yet know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. This “natural immunity” varies from person to person although it is uncommon for people who do get COVID-19 again to get it within 90 days of when they recovered from their first infection.  

How can I receive a COVID-19 vaccine?

Specific COVID-19 vaccine delivery and allocation plans vary by state, so please contact your state health department for more information on its plan.

Navion communities are providing our residents and associates (who are also in Phase 1 a) COVID-19 vaccinations onsite through our partnerships with Walgreens and CVS, further protecting residents by sparing them the need to go out in high-risk public spaces to receive the vaccine.

If you have been considering senior living for yourself or a loved one, there has never been a better time to consider Navion Senior Solutions. Beyond gaining priority access to the COVID-19 vaccine, rest assured we continue to follow all local, state and federal guidelines and protocols for COVID-19 response in each of our communities.