Published March 12, 2021
News about COVID-19 vaccines seems to change daily. Who can get them? Where can we get them? Are they safe? Are there enough? Who can answer my questions? Keeping up with the latest and greatest can be challenging, confusing, and frustrating and we know that you want answers.
Published November 4, 2020
As a new wave of COVID-19 begins to surge this fall, forward-thinking organizations are looking for new strategies to minimize disruption and keep their employee populations safe. By prioritizing seamless access to healthcare and a convenient approach to testing, employers can confidently stay ahead of the curve and proactively navigate this developing public health crisis.
Published September 28, 2020
Cold and flu season is imminent, and it’s more important than ever for employers to promote a proactive, preventive approach to employee health during this pandemic. As an employer, there are steps you can take to encourage your employees to get their flu vaccine and drive home the importance of keeping themselves healthy this flu season.
Published August 21, 2020
As employees have shifted to a remote work environment, organizations have been forced to rapidly adapt their information security strategies to reflect the structure and keep their teams and technology safe. Chief information security officers (CISOs) have shifted priorities around privacy, integration of corporate and user systems, and the introduction of new technology in light of COVID-19..
Published August 7, 2020
We all play a critical role in slowing the spread of COVID-19. There is still a great deal of uncertainty in this situation, but evidence shows that taking simple preventive measures can have a significant impact on the trajectory of the virus. These measures include wearing a face mask, adhering to social distancing, washing your hands, and staying home when you’re sick.
Recently, a mother reached out to Premise’s national virtual health primary care team to seek guidance for her son. After conducting a virtual exam, in which our provider, Lauren Prendes, NP, was able to spend meaningful time with the mother and her son, Lauren determined that the child might be experiencing appendicitis.
Recently, one member presented to the Premise Health wellness center after not having access to a primary care provider for over a year. Premise providers Michele Sherrill, FNP-BC and Jennifer James, MA developed a plan of care for his diagnoses and made the appropriate referrals for his needs.
At the beginning of quarantine, one Premise Health provider was contacted by a member who was struggling with depression and anxiety. Isolation coupled with an increased workload had become huge stressors on his mental health and he had begun having panic attacks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the nation’s leading health protection agency, providing valuable resources for Americans and the latest, need-to-know public health information regarding COVID-19.
The official name is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. It is a respiratory virus (a novel coronavirus) that was previously unknown until it was detected in China in 2019. Since then, the virus has spread globally and has caused millions of infections and over half a million deaths in the United States.
The virus is primarily spread through exposure to respiratory droplets when a person is in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. Infection can also occur by exposure to the virus in small particles that can linger in the air for minutes to hours, though this is less common.
The most common symptoms reported are mild-to-severe respiratory illness with cough and fever. More severe infections can cause difficulty breathing and require immediate medical attention. Visit the CDC for more information about symptoms.
Social distancing, sometimes preferably called “physical distancing,” is a strategy to prevent the spread of contagious diseases. Social distancing includes staying away from crowds, avoiding public transportation (e.g., bus, subway, taxi, ride share), and maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from anyone who is not part of your household.
The best way to prevent infection is by avoiding exposure to the virus by staying away from other people’s respiratory germs. The CDC recommends the following preventative actions:
Mass entry screening is a way to minimize the risk that those entering the workplace have a current infection. The screening may include a combination of symptom/exposure questionnaires, temperature checks, and sometimes COVID-19 rapid testing.
Mass entry screening is one of the most effective strategies to reduce the risk of transmission on campus and increase safety for employees. By requiring employees to complete symptom questionnaires and temperature checks prior to entering, employees with COVID-19 symptoms are less likely to get into the workplace and spread the infection to others.
As employers begin to reopen their doors and bring populations back to the workplace, it’s critical employee health and safety is priority. Mass entry screening helps protect the health and safety of employees and minimizes the risk of future outbreaks.
It is recommended by the CDC that screenings, inclusive of symptom questionnaires and temperature checks, be done daily, by shift, and throughout the day based on entry and departure of employees and visitors. Testing programs may be done every few days or weekly, depending on the type of test being performed.
There are a number of simple processes and practices employers can put in place to protect employee health as individuals come back to the workplace, including:
Care support is a solution that helps individuals navigate their healthcare journey while ensuring they get the care they need. In the context of COVID-19, this program is used to help people with a confirmed or suspected positive diagnosis navigate their COVID-19 symptoms in quarantine. Care support providers ensure individuals stay connected to care by proactively reaching out to check in, verify their symptom status, assess their overall wellbeing, and answer questions.
Contact tracing is a strategy to mitigate COVID-19. Contact tracers reach out to those who have been in contact with an individual who has tested positive, providing them with early warning of their exposure and the opportunity to self-quarantine and get tested. Since COVID-19 can start spreading before a person has symptoms, this approach helps break chains of transmission, which prevents spikes in cases and supports safer communities and workplaces.
Premise Health is actively vaccinating at many of our centers serving members who are “in-phase” in their states. As more vaccine becomes available, Premise plans to procure and administer the COVID-19 vaccine in accordance with federal, state, and manufacturer guidelines when it is made available.
Regardless of when the COVID-19 vaccine is available at your wellness center, our team members will still act as a valuable resource for guidance on the vaccine, as well as continued COVID19 testing and support. Please visit our COVID-19 resource page at Members.PremiseHealth.com/Covid19 for more information and ways we can support you through the pandemic.
Although the COVID-19 authorization was prioritized to expedite getting vaccines to the public, the standard safety trials and procedures were followed to ensure safety and effectiveness. The FDA follows rigorous standards and will only give emergency use authorization (EUA) if the vaccine candidates meet their qualifications.
While mRNA vaccines seem new, researchers have been studying them for decades. They were a favorable choice for the COVID-19 vaccine because they can be created in a lab using readily available materials, which means they can be developed faster than more traditional methods of making vaccines. Basically, rather than triggering an immune response with a weakened or inactive virus, the mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response and helps produce antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus to protect us from future infection.
No, your DNA is inside your cells. mRNA never enters your cells and does not affect your genetic code.
No. All of the vaccines available under emergency use authorization in the U.S. were tested in a diverse group of adults spanning different races, ethnicities, and ages. There were no significant safety concerns identified in these or any other groups.
Some participants in the clinical trials reported temporary, mild to moderate side effects after receiving their vaccine. The side effects were fairly similar to that of the flu vaccine and included pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache, fever and aching muscles and joints for a day or two. There have been no serious side effects reported, and typically if someone is going to have a bad reaction to a vaccine it will likely occur in the first six weeks after being administered.
These temporary, mild to moderate side effects are preferable to the alternative of getting COVID-19, so they should not deter you from receiving the vaccine. These side effects are a sign that your immune system is doing exactly what it is supposed to do – working and building up protection to disease.
Of the tens of thousands of vaccine trial participants, there have been very few serious side effects reported. Some individuals have had allergic reactions to the vaccine, but it is extremely rare. As a precaution, you will be asked about any history of severe, life threatening allergic reactions prior to being vaccinated. Everyone who receives the vaccine will be required to wait 15 minutes after vaccination for observation and 30 minutes if you have a history of anaphylaxis to ensure you do not have an unexpected, adverse reaction to the vaccine. If you have a history of severe allergic reactions, and particularly to vaccines, ask your provider for further guidance on whether you should get the COVID-19 vaccine.
No, the vaccines are being developed by various companies at different times. This means that the vaccines currently available cannot be compared directly against one another – it isn’t apples to apples. The vaccine trials were done with different virus variants circulating, so while we can’t say one is better than the others because of its efficacy rate, we know that all three of the available vaccines are highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death, which is what makes COVID-19 so different from other viruses circulating in the world.
You likely will not be able to choose the vaccine you receive. It will depend on your local area and what is available there, based on what your state health department can order and distribute. It may also depend on what your local hospital or wellness center can accommodate. One thing to remember, most vaccines are two doses. It is important to know that all of the vaccines currently available are highly effective, safe, and prevent hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
Yes, the vaccines that are two doses and the vaccine that is one dose are different. If you started the two-dose series your antibody development and protection against the virus are based on having two doses of the vaccine.
The COVID-19 vaccine will be provided free of charge in the United States. However, providers can charge a fee for administering the shot to you. Your insurance will likely cover this added fee and there are public funds to cover fees for those without insurance, so cost should not be a barrier to getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
The federal government is working with vaccine manufacturers to ensure adequate supply. High-risk populations will receive the vaccine first, followed by the general public.
Studies on COVID-19 vaccine safety in children are still ongoing, so the CDC has not recommended those under the age of 16 get the vaccine at this time. Also, pregnant women and those who are immunocompromised can get the vaccine but should discuss with their healthcare provider first. As of now, experts recommend that all other parts of the population should get the COVID-19 vaccine when it’s made available, to help slow the spread and ultimately end the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are unsure, talk with your healthcare provider.
Yes, people who have had COVID-19 already are eligible to receive the vaccine and should do so. If you currently have COVID-19, you should wait until the end of your isolation period before you get your vaccine.
There is a chance you could still get COVID19 after receiving the vaccine because no vaccine is 100% effective. The authorized COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective, but they are not perfect. So, even though you could potentially still get the virus you’re much less likely to get it if you’ve had the vaccine.
The vaccine may prevent severe illness and long-term symptoms of COVID-19 if you get it. This is important, because even young survivors who were physically fit prior to getting COVID-19 have reported lingering symptoms months after infection. This is called post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 (PASC, for short). PASC symptoms can include fatigue, difficulty breathing, cough, joint pain, chest pain, cognitive impairment, depression, muscle pain, headache, fever and palpitations. More serious complications of COVID-19 can include myocardial inflammation, ventricular dysfunction, acute kidney injury, rash, alopecia, smell and taste dysfunction, sleep dysregulation, depression, anxiety and changes in mood.
Those who get the COVID-19 vaccine should still take other protections such as wearing a mask, social distancing, hand washing and more.
As of now, no. Health experts say that they will continue to advise wearing masks and social distancing until it is safe to resume pre-pandemic conditions. We need all the tools available to stop the spread, which includes the vaccine and the protection tactics recommended by top health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC). The best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19 will be getting vaccinated, while continuing to follow CDC guidelines like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet away from others, washing your hands often, etc.
*The information on this website is intended for informational purposes only and not as medical advice. In the case of a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.
CORONAVIRUS ALERT: PEOPLE WITH SUSPECTED CORONAVIRUS NEED TO BE ISOLATED. CALL YOUR WELLNESS CENTER IF YOU HAVE FEVER OR RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMS OR THINK YOU MIGHT HAVE CORONAVIRUS.