During this challenging year, your dedication to our science-based practices in COVID-19 prevention and control, to those you serve, and to each other have kept our communities as safe as possible. The safety and well-being of our associates and residents remains our highest priority.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines currently authorized for use to be safe – and it has been shown in clinical trials to be highly effective. Asbury believes that vaccination is an important way to expand our organization’s ability to protect those who live and work at our communities against COVID-19.
Our approach continues to be grounded in science and facts, following guidance provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the FDA, and the expertise of our clinical leaders.
We strongly encourage you to receive a vaccine as soon as it becomes available to you. While this decision must be right for you, it reaches beyond you to those we serve, to their families, and to our Asbury associate family.
Check out these photos of Asbury associates sharing why they got the COVID-19 Vaccine!
Below are facts to help inform your decision and Asbury’s COVID-19 vaccination policies.
Click here for a PDF of Associate Vaccine FAQs.
Vaccine Safety and Other FAQs
*Sources include the CDC, FDA, and Pfizer and Moderna.
CVS Pharmacy staff will administer the vaccines on site at each Asbury community. Similar to the process for the flu vaccinations, you will need to show your insurance card at the time of vaccination. The vaccine will require two shots administered 21 days apart (Pfizer vaccine) or 28 days apart (Moderna vaccine). You must get the second dose for the vaccine to work.
Currently, the FDA has granted Emergency Use Authorization to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
How was the vaccine tested for safety?
The FDA performs rigorous testing for safety in keeping with the process used for vaccines such as flu. Two independent scientific advisory groups also reviewed data from the COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials. The FDA has concluded that the benefit of receiving the vaccine outweighs the risk of not receiving it for most people.
Vaccine approval requires four clinical trial phases that assess its effectiveness and safety in different populations. A vaccine that has been approved as safe to use has been tested in tens of thousands of people with no significant harmful side effects noted. The current Phase 3 trials have 30,000 to 50,000 participants. The FDA advises a minimum of 3,000 participants to assess safety. Phase 4 involves ongoing monitoring and data gathering over an 8-week period following vaccination, as most adverse side effects have been shown to occur within 6 weeks following vaccination.
Who was included in the Pfizer and Moderna trials?
The Pfizer trials included more than 40,000 people. Of those, 10% were Black and 13% Latino, and 45% were 56 to 85 years old. The Pfizer vaccine is showing a protection rate of 95%.
The Moderna trials included more than 25,000 people. Of those, 10% were Black and 20% were Latino, and 23% were 65 years or older. The Moderna vaccine is showing a protection rate of 94%.
Are there side effects?
The vaccine can cause short-term discomfort such as headache, muscle pains, fatigue, chills, fever and pain at injection site in a percentage of the people who receive them. This is the effect of your body developing immunity – it means the vaccine is working! Most trial participants reported that the discomfort went away after a day, sometimes sooner. The discomfort can be more pronounced when you receive the second shot.
How does the vaccine work and how soon will I be protected?
The vaccine does not contain any active COVID virus and do not cause COVID infection. The vaccine works within our bodies to create an immune response to the presence of COVID-19 should we be exposed to it. It will help prevent the illnesses associated with COVID-19.
Recipients receive a shot with vaccine material 21 to 28 days apart. You must get the second dose for the vaccine to work. Protection typically begins within 2 weeks after the second shot. You will still be required to wear a mask, physical distance, and use appropriate PPE while at work. Even though you have received your vaccine, most of the people around you have not. Trials show the vaccine prevents disease in the vaccinated person, but definitive evidence remains to be gathered before we know you cannot transmit the disease to others.
A person may already be infected with COVID-19 when they get the vaccine but are asymptomatic. If they later have symptoms of COVID-19 or test positive for it, it does not mean they got COVID-19 from the vaccine.
What if I have had COVID-19 already?
Trials have shown that it is safe to get the vaccine if you have already had COVID-19. If you have had a test that shows you have COVID-19 antibodies, the vaccine is still safe for your and may protect you further from future COVID-19 infections.
How long will the vaccine last?
Because the trials are still in the early stages, we will not know this answer for some time. It may be that the COVID vaccine is annual in the same way as the flu.
Associate Vaccine Processes and Policy
In keeping with the CDC’s phased plan, associates serving skilled nursing, personal care or assisted living will receive the first vaccines. Residents in these neighborhoods will also be included in this first phase of vaccination.
While we strongly encourage associates to get the vaccine at the first opportunity, we are providing certain exemptions: While the vaccine is in Emergency Use Authorization status, associates may defer. Once the FDA formally approves a vaccine, vaccination will be required for associates.
If you plan to defer, or if you would like to request a medical or religious exemption, please click here to view the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy and exemption request form.
Deferral and exemption requests are due to the review committee by Dec. 31, 2020. (For Asbury Solomons associates eligible for the December 26th Vaccination Date, deferral/exemption requests are due on December 18th.) Those who do not fill out a form will be presumed to be taking the vaccine and will be required to do so as soon as one is available.
Asbury associates who receive a COVID-19 vaccination in 2020 or 2021 qualify for discounted health insurance rates under the WOW! program for 2022 without having to do any other wellness activities. All Albright associates are automatically enrolled for 2021; automatic enrollment will continue in 2022 by receiving a COVID-19 vaccination in 2020 or 2021.
As more vaccines become available through the CDC’s phased plan, we will communicate vaccination opportunities.
Asbury Associate FAQs
If I choose to defer my vaccination until formal FDA approval, can I get the vaccine under the Emergency Use Authorization if I were to change my mind?
Yes, you may change your mind. However, your ability to receive the vaccine at that time will be dependent on availability.
Each community will have three clinic dates assigned which are non-negotiable. Associates who do not receive the first dose of vaccination on Clinic Day One must receive first dose on Clinic Day Two and then their second dose on Clinic Day Three. *No first doses will be administered on Clinic Day Three.
If I get the vaccine, and have a common side effect of fever, aches, etc., I will no longer be able to “pass” the daily screening tool. Should I still come to work?
Associates who receive the vaccine and report mild side effects listed above should return to work. Symptoms such as cough, loss of smell or taste, high fever, diarrhea, sore throat are not reported as a side effect of the vaccine and may be associated with recent infection and should be reviewed with your manager. Associates should answer the screening questions relative to exposure, travel, PPE, etc., as usual. Associates should continue to apply the same PPE as used prior to vaccination.
If I’m currently quarantining due to COVID-19 exposure, possible exposure, or due to travel, should I still come to work to get the vaccine?
Your community’s executive director will be providing specific details on this.
Community Vaccine Schedules
Below are the confirmed vaccination dates with our partner CVS. If changes to confirmed dates are made, updates to the vaccine schedule will be updated and communicated to appropriate parties promptly. Vaccinations require two doses 21 days apart (for Pfizer vaccine) or 28 days apart (Moderna vaccine).
**Note: No one may receive a first vaccine dose on the last clinic date as it requires 2 doses to be effective.
Asbury Methodist Village
Asbury Place Kingsport
Asbury Place Maryville