COVID-19 communication: Vaccine update #3

To all Support, Inc. Staff, Providers, and Families;

Colorado continues to work through Phase 1A of the State’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan and hopes to have the majority of Phase 1A health care workers vaccinated by January 15th. Over the last week, Colorado updated the states COVID-19 vaccine plan. The updated plan expands who is included in Phase 1B to include Coloradoan’s age 70 or older, first responders, front line essential workers and continuity of state government. This week, the State started administering vaccinations to individuals in Phase 1B. We have not received an update on which Phase constituents of Support, Inc. will be eligible for the vaccine however, individuals, providers or family members who are age 70 or older are eligible to get the vaccine at this time.

If someone you support is 70 years of age or over, they are eligible to get the vaccine now. The first step is to contact the individual’s primary care physician to discuss the vaccine and scheduling the two-step vaccine process. Attached is a plain language informational document about the COVID-19 vaccine that was developed by and for people with intellectual disabilities. Vaccine availability varies based on the federal supply and distribution throughout the state. Colorado expects to continue to get weekly shipments of the vaccine.

Vaccine FAQ’s:

Q: Will I be charged for the cost of the vaccine?

A: No, the vaccine will not cost you anything. Medicare, Medicaid, CHP+ and private insurances are required to cover the cost of the vaccine. In addition, uninsured Coloradoan’s will also have access to a free vaccine.

Q: Do I still need to wear a mask and physically distance after receiving the vaccine?

A: Yes. It takes time after getting both steps of the vaccine for your body to respond and make enough antibodies to protect you. This could take up to one to two weeks after your last dose. Current data suggests that it is possible that someone who has been vaccinated against COVID-19 may still have mild to asymptomatic infection or spread the virus to others. So, it is important to continue to take precautions by wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.

Q: Should I get a COVID-19 test to see if I am infected before getting the vaccine?

A: No. The CDC does not recommend getting tested to see if you are infected before getting the vaccine. If you do not have symptoms and have not been recently exposed to COVID-19, there is no need to get a test before deciding whether to get vaccinated.

Q: I already had COVID-19 and have recovered; do I still need to get the vaccine?

A: Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are likely safe and effective in people who have recovered from a previous COVID-19 infection. The Advisory Committee recommends waiting at least 90 days after recovering from COVID-19 before getting the vaccine. It is currently unknown how long natural immunity lasts after recovering from COVID-19 and, early evidence suggests natural immunity may not last very long as cases of reinfection have been reported.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at Laura.Viers@supportinc.com. Be sure to never miss our correspondences; follow us on Facebook, be sure you are on email and newsletter distribution lists and continue to check out our website for on-going updated about COVID-19 and other happenings around the organization.

Thank you,

Laura Viers