You Got Your 2nd Dose of the COVID-19 Vaccine. Now What?

COVID-19 vaccination is of vital importance to the worldwide effort to contain COVID-19 and, in due course, to bring an end to this devastating pandemic. The terrific rate of vaccine acceptance among Deerfield’s Independent Living residents will support a tiered, deliberate return to communal dining and group activities, as appropriate and as permitted by federal and state guidance, during 2021.

Important facts to keep in mind:

Even fully immunized persons should continue to practice the 3 Ws.
Wear a mask. • Wait 6 feet away from others. • Wash your hands frequently.

Here’s why:
• Clinical trials of Pfizer’s and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines established that a two-­step vaccination prevents 94% of recipients from developing symptomatic COVID-19. What they have not explicitly determined is whether or not those who are vaccinated are capable of contracting asympomtatic cases of the disease that may still be transmissible to others. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccination provides under real-life conditions, it is important that we continue to employ all of the tools available to us in helping to mitigate viral transmission. The vaccine will offer you protection, but in order to end this pandemic, it is incumbent upon us all to continue to prevent the forward transmission of this disease to those who have not yet been able to be vaccinated. Indeed, our individual safety is reliant upon the rapid vaccination of the global population; as long as COVID-19 is able to spread unchecked anywhere, the emergence of a vaccine-resistant SARS-CoV2 mutant will be a persistent threat.

• One SARS-CoV2 variant first identified in South Africa (called B.1.351) has been shown to be at least somewhat vaccine evasive. As of late January, cases of COVID-19 caused by this variant have been discovered in the United States in persons with no recent international travel history, indicating that the variant is spreading through the population. A true return to normalcy is contingent upon fair, equitable, rapid mass vaccination on a global scale. And, meanwhile, a continued commitment to the practice of mitigation measures, even among the vaccinated.

Taryn Tindall, RN, on behalf of the Deerfield Leadership Team