December 15, 2020
As has been widely anticipated, “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency authorization for a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech” (Statnnews.com, 12/11/20). Distribution began on Sunday and vaccinations have started. This is expected to be followed by authorizations in the coming weeks and months for additional vaccines developed by other firms.
As an agency we welcome this step forward while recognizing that currently our most important action is to remain proactive with our prevention steps; wearing a face mask, washing hands frequently, wearing appropriate PPE and maintaining social distancing.
As we prepare for vaccine distribution let us focus on two critical areas; individual preparation and agency approach.
We need to become informed about the vaccine(s) as information becomes available.
We need to seek information from sources we trust such as our Primary Care Physicians, the CDC and state and local health departments. We must prepare to make an informed decision on whether to be vaccinated. If you decide to be vaccinated, a consent form will need to be completed. Please do not wait until you can receive the vaccine to begin educating yourself on this topic and the choice you will need to make.
As an agency, we enrolled in the CDC’s Pharmacy distribution process and have been assigned to the Omnicare / CVS, program. Webinars hosted by Omnicare have provided some initial communication on the broad outline of the program. No specific dates or vaccine quantities have been shared. In addition, the coverage of both CRi individuals and employees is still being determined.
CRi has not made any changes as to whether vaccinations will be required for program participation or employment.
At this time a COVID-19 vaccination is not required and we will not be changing our approach without a thorough review of Maryland and Virginia regulatory and labor department guidance.
Thank You for your efforts and support as we address this virus and prepare for the vaccines.
Terry Hurley, VP (on behalf of the Clinical Leadership Team and ERT)
Contact: 703-842-2321 | www.MyCRi.org | thurley@MyCRi.org