February 4, 2021| February 4 [PDF]
re: COVID-19 vaccination
Dear Ongwanada family members:
Please be aware that we continue to work very closely with Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington (KFL&A) Public Health to advocate for your loved ones to ensure that they receive a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible. We also thank you for your understanding and sacrifice during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are grateful that the government is continuing to distribute the vaccine. Receiving the vaccine will help us protect our supported individuals, ourselves, our families, and our community.
It is reasonable to be hesitant when a new vaccine is created, especially one that was quickly designed and approved. It is very reasonable to wonder if this vaccine will harm your loved one’s health.
The vaccines being offered in Ontario (Pfizer and Moderna) were studied on thousands of volunteers. Over 40,000 doses of Pfizer were administered and over 30,000 of Moderna. The vaccines were proven to be about 95% effective against the COVID-19 virus. As of February 1, 2021, over 98.3 million doses of vaccine have been given worldwide, with 957,229 given within Canada.
The only serious side effect that has been reported is anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction). This has occurred in 1 of every 100,000 doses, which is considered rare. That means if every one of the 204,116 people living in Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington region receives a vaccine, we would expect 2 episodes of anaphylaxis to occur. If anaphylaxis occurs, nursing staff and staff from Public Health will be prepared to intervene with epinephrine to treat any potential episodes quickly.
Common side effects that can occur in the first 48 hours after receiving the vaccination: pain/redness/swelling at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, and fever. These symptoms are a sign that the immune system is responding appropriately to the vaccine. Vaccines work by stimulating and strengthening the immune system.
They train the immune system to produce antibodies against COVID-19.
The only reason that an individual should not receive the vaccine is if they have an allergy to polyethylene glycol, a component in the vaccine, or have had an allergic reaction to the vaccine.
It is not unreasonable to want to wait until others have received the vaccine to see if there are any other side effects found but with over 98.3 million doses already administered, this is unlikely to happen.
This is not a live vaccine, and you cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine.
We will be sending out additional information on the vaccine along with consent forms for your signature in order that your loved ones receive the vaccine when it is available over the next week-or-so. At time of writing we anticipate our supported individuals will be receiving the vaccine by end of February/beginning of March, vaccine supply depending.
Thank you and please accept our best wishes.
Alastair Lamb Jocelyn Fleet BScN, RN
Chief Executive Officer Nurse Educator