Protect Yourself: Get the COVID-19 Vaccine Learn More

Petersen Health Care Residents are among First Priority Covid-19 Vaccine Recipients.

Safe and Protected2021-02-16T08:55:39-06:00

To our Residents, Families, Friends, and Communities:

Thank you for your continued trust, patience, and support as we navigate the next steps in our response to Covid-19.

Protect Yourself: Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

In the near future, a vaccine will be available that is expected to significantly reduce the risk of infection from Covid-19. It is expected that it will then become more widely available to the general public in spring 2021.

First access will be given to those at highest risk for complications from Covid-19, health care personnel and first responders.

There are many important reasons to get the vaccine when it becomes available. The most compelling one is that it could protect you and those around you from this life-threatening virus.

Committed to keeping you safe & protected.

Petersen Health Care is taking the next steps to keep you safe and protected.

Since the news and scope of the global pandemic came into focus, Petersen Health Care has worked diligently to ensure that we are able to meet the challenges caused by the health crisis. Our top priority has been, and remains, the health and safety of our Residents, Staff, and the communities we serve. We will not cease to identify and prioritize strategies to help reduce the risk and spread of the Coronavirus.

A letter to our Community

FACT: COVID-19 vaccines will not give you COVID-19

None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. There are several different types of vaccines in development. However, the goal for each of them is to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work.

It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.

FACT: COVID-19 vaccines will not cause you to test positive on COVID-19 viral tests

Vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States won’t cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.

If your body develops an immune response, which is the goal of vaccination, there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.

FACT: People who have gotten sick with COVID-19 may still benefit from getting vaccinated

Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, people may be advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have been sick with COVID-19 before.

At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person. Some early evidence suggests natural immunity may not last very long.

We won’t know how long immunity produced by vaccination lasts until we have a vaccine and more data on how well it works.

Both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are trying to learn more about, and CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.

FACT: Getting vaccinated can help prevent getting sick with COVID-19

While many people with COVID-19 have only a mild illness, others may get a severe illness or they may even die. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you, even if you are not at increased risk of severe complications. If you get sick, you also may spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you while you are sick. COVID-19 vaccination helps protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work.

FACT: Receiving an mRNA vaccine will not alter your DNA

mRNA stands for messenger ribonucleic acid and can most easily be described as instructions for how to make a protein or even just a piece of a protein. mRNA is not able to alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enter the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA are kept. This means the mRNA does not affect or interact with our DNA in any way. Instead, COVID-19 vaccines that use mRNA work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop protection (immunity) to disease. Learn more about how COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work. ​

How the CDC is Making COVID-19 Vaccine Recommendations

COVID-19 vaccines will be an important tool to help stop this pandemic. CDC’s Dr. Cohn explains how the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, an independent group of experts, develops recommendations and advises CDC on the use of vaccines in our country and the process for making recommendations on COVID-19 vaccines.

COVID-19 vaccination will help keep you from getting COVID-19

  • COVID-19 vaccines are being carefully evaluated in clinical trials and will be authorized or approved only if they make it substantially less likely you’ll get COVID-19.
  • Based on what we know about vaccines for other diseases, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.
  • Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Experts continue to conduct more studies about the effect of COVID-19 vaccination on severity of illness from COVID-19, as well as its ability to keep people from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccination will be a safer way to help build protection.

  • COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications, and there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. And if you get sick, you could spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you.
  • Clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines must first show they are safe and effective before any vaccine can be authorized or approved for use. The known and potential benefits of a COVID-19 vaccine must outweigh the known and potential risks of the vaccine for use under what is known as an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Watch a video on what an EUA is.
  • Getting COVID-19 may offer some natural protection, known as immunity. But experts don’t know how long this protection lasts, and the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness.
  • Both natural immunity and immunity produced by a vaccine are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are trying to learn more about, and CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.

COVID-19 vaccination will be a vital tool to stop the pandemic.

  • Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed.
  • The combination of getting vaccinated and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.
  • Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools we have available. As experts learn more about how COVID-19 vaccination may help reduce spread of the disease in communities, CDC will continue to update the recommendations to protect communities using the latest science.

Common Questions

Questions and Answers provided by the Center for Disease Control.

Are there long-term side effects from COVID-19 vaccine?2020-12-22T14:41:24-06:00

Because all COVID-19 vaccines are new, it will take more time and more people getting vaccinated to learn about very rare or possible long-term side effects. The good news is, at least 8 weeks’ worth of safety data were gathered in the clinical trials for all the authorized vaccines, and it’s unusual for vaccine side effects to appear more than 8 weeks after vaccination.

How do I report problems or bad reactions after getting a COVID-19 vaccine?2020-12-22T14:41:22-06:00

I am encouraging all recipients who receive the vaccine to enroll in v-safe. This is a smartphone tool you can use to tell CDC if you have any side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
If you report serious side effects, someone from CDC will call to follow up. I will give you instructions for how to enroll.

How do I know if COVID-19 vaccine is safe?2020-12-22T14:40:51-06:00

All COVID-19 vaccines were tested in clinical trials involving tens of thousands of people to make sure they meet safety standards and protect adults of different ages, races, and ethnicities. There were no serious safety concerns. CDC and the FDA will keep monitoring the vaccines to look for safety issues after they are authorized and in use.

Will the shot hurt or make me sick?2020-12-22T14:39:47-06:00

There may be side effects, but they should go away within a few days. Possible side effects include a sore arm, headache, fever, or body aches. This does not mean you have COVID-19. Side effects are signs that the vaccine is working to build immunity. If they don’t go away in a week, or you have more serious symptoms, call your doctor.

Why do I need two COVID-19 shots?2020-12-22T14:38:54-06:00

Currently authorized vaccines, and most vaccines under development, require two doses of vaccine. The first shot helps the immune system recognize the virus, and the second shot strengthens the immune response. You need both to get the best protection

Is it better to get natural immunity to COVID-19 rather than immunity from a vaccine?2020-12-22T14:38:22-06:00

No. While you may have some short-term antibody protection after recovering from COVID-19, we don’t know how long this protection lasts. Vaccination is the best protection, and it is safe. People who get COVID-19 can have serious illnesses, and some have debilitating symptoms that persist for months.

Is it safe to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I have an underlying medical condition?2020-12-22T14:37:45-06:00

Yes. COVID-19 vaccination is especially important for people with underlying health problems like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and obesity. People with these conditions are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

Can my child get vaccinated for COVID-19?2020-12-22T14:35:39-06:00

No. More studies need to be conducted before COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for children aged 16 and younger.

If I already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated?2020-12-22T14:35:44-06:00

Yes. CDC recommends that you get vaccinated even if you have already had COVID-19, because you can catch it more than once. While you may have some short-term antibody protection after recovering from COVID-19, we don’t know how long this protection will last.

Can the vaccine give me COVID-19?2020-12-22T14:35:49-06:00

No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for use or in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. However, it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick

Should I get vaccinated for COVID-19?2020-12-22T14:35:56-06:00

We strongly recommend you get vaccinated. The vaccine will help protect you from getting COVID-19. If you still get infected after you get vaccinated, the vaccine may prevent serious illness. By getting vaccinated, you can also help protect people around you.

For more information about COVID-19 & Vaccination information please visit the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov