As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues across the country, many people have questions, particularly around who should get it and what it means for our ability to resume our daily routines.
Information from public health authorities is widely available that addresses the most common questions people have about the vaccine. However, caregivers of people receiving hospice or palliative care for serious illnesses have a set of specialized concerns around what impact the vaccine will have on keeping them and their loved ones protected from COVID-19.
Here are answers to some of the most common questions caregivers have about the vaccine.
Is it safe for people in hospice and palliative care to receive the vaccine?
Yes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirm that the vaccine is safe to administer to patients receiving hospice and palliative care. Clinical trials have shown that side effects from the vaccine are temporary and mild and generally resolve within a week.
There are several important benefits to getting vaccinated, as contracting COVID-19 poses serious risks to people with existing conditions, including pain and other symptoms of the virus that could exacerbate their conditions, and ultimately death. Getting vaccinated also offers increased protection to the caregivers and loved ones of those receiving hospice care against contracting the virus.
What if I’m uncertain about whether I want my loved one to be vaccinated?
This is an important decision that should be made in collaboration with your loved one’s health care providers or physicians in order to assess the benefits and risks. To make this decision on behalf of your loved one requires that you be legally appointed to do so.
If you are legally empowered to make medical decisions for your loved one and you decide to decline vaccination, it is essential to maintain rigorous precautions against the spread of COVID-19.
As a caregiver, should I get vaccinated?
Getting vaccinated is a good idea, as it provides increased protection from the virus not just for yourself but for those you come into contact with, including your loved one and their health care providers.
After my loved one has received the vaccine, is it safe for them to see visitors?
As much as we are looking forward to resuming a more normal way of life, it is critical that we maintain rigorous safety protocols to stop the spread of COVID-19, even after vaccination.
Please speak with staff for the most current information about visitation. Whenever you come into contact with others, remember the most important steps you can take to stay safe:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Keep a physical distance of at least six feet from other people.
- Wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose.
If you have any other questions about caregivers and the COVID-19 vaccine, please reach out to us.