The outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 caused a worldwide pandemic. As we continue to navigate these unique times, there have been many questions regarding the best practices on stopping the spread of the virus and protecting ourselves and our loved ones.

From quarantining and social distancing to wearing masks in public and increasing cleaning and sanitizing schedules, our society has taken added precautions in the effort to defeat COVID-19.

We are now seeing the next solution in our communities: the COVID-19 vaccine. In the hope of answering some of your questions about the vaccine, Community Senior Life is sharing how it impacts our senior living communities throughout Alabama.

Variations of the COVID-19 Vaccine

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, two types of the COVID-19 vaccine have been approved for use by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Additional variations of the vaccine are still in development.

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

Having arrived in Alabama on December 14, 2020, the Pfizer-BioNTech two-dose vaccine is recommended for individuals 16 years of age and older and is administered 21 days apart. In clinical trials, this vaccine was shown to be 95% effective at preventing infection of COVID-19; however, recipients of the vaccine are not considered fully protected until one to two weeks after receiving the second dose.

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine

Arriving in Alabama on December 21, 2020, the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is also administered in two doses, but it is spread 28 days apart and recommended for people 18 years of age and older. The Alabama Department of Public Health states, “clinical trial data shows the vaccine is about 94% effective after two doses.”

Due to the high demand with a limited supply of vaccines, individuals currently cannot choose which version they receive; whichever version is available is what is administered. Fortunately, both variations of the vaccine are almost equally effective.

As of January 1, 2021, there have been 42,810 vaccine doses administered out of an initial 226,250 dose allocation for the state of Alabama.

Phases of COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation

Since access to the COVID-19 vaccine is limited, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended that the vaccine be administered in phases according to risk level. Currently, the vaccine is focused on individuals in the very high-risk category (Phase 1a). Read our blog, COVID-19 Update From the Alabama Department of Public Health,” to learn more about who is currently eligible to receive the vaccine.

Following Phase 1a, people in different risk categories will be eligible to receive the vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in Phase 1b, the “COVID-19 vaccine should be offered to persons aged [75 years and older] and non-healthcare frontline essential workers, and in Phase 1c, to persons aged 65-74 years, persons aged 16-64 years with high-risk medical conditions, and essential workers not included in Phase 1b.”

In Phase 2, individuals 16 years of age and older who were not already recommended for the vaccine in previous phases may receive the vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also states, the “ACIP is closely monitoring clinical trials in children and adolescents and will consider recommendations for use when a COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for use in persons aged [under] 16 years.”

Administering the COVID-19 Vaccine

While we are still in Phase 1a, residents in our senior living communities in Alabama are receiving the vaccine. Watch our video to see what they are saying about their experience.

In the coming weeks, other Community Senior Life communities in Alabama will have access to the COVID-19 vaccine. For additional information about the COVID-19 vaccine administration process at our communities, we encourage you to read our blog, “CSL Starting COVID-19 Vaccine Consent Process for Assisted Living and Memory Care Residents.”

Prior to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, please contact the community in which you plan to attend for the administration of the vaccine to ensure all required actions are taken no less than 72 hours prior to the scheduled clinic date. Dates for the second dosage of the vaccine will be provided to you upon receipt of the initial vaccine dose.

Please feel free to contact a member of our team with any questions regarding our senior living communities in Alabama.