During these challenging times, one bright spot is the rapid progression of the development and regulatory approval of the COVID-19 vaccines. While things are looking positive, it is important to remember that there are several steps to go before vaccines are available to the general public.
And because there is so much information in the news, it is not always clear what is happening or what the updates mean. The following frequently asked questions, or FAQ, are intended to help answer some common questions individuals may have about COVID-19 vaccines.
Q: When can I get the vaccine?
A: Federal, state and local authorities, following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have determined who will receive the vaccine first. The vaccines will be given in “phases” that focus on specific groups of people. Right now, the first phase to receive the vaccination are the medical and emergency workers at the highest risk of exposure. This is to keep as many healthcare workers healthy and available to care for patients. We do not know how long the first phase will last.
The next phase of the distribution will be Phase 1B, which will include other essential workers and higher risk patients. As of now, we do not anticipate COVID-19 vaccines will be widely available to the general public until Spring 2021, or later.
Q: What can I do to stay healthy until the vaccine is available?
A: It is critical that everyone takes steps to stay healthy and prevent the spread of SARS-CoV2. To help prevent the spread and reduce the pressure on hospitals:
Q: Can I get on a waiting list for the vaccine?
A: There are no waiting lists for vaccines. We want to be able to get these vaccines to our patients as quickly as possible when it becomes available. When we have updates, we will communicate with our patients and the community. If you are a Fort HealthCare patient, the best thing you can do is make sure you have an active MyCompass account. If you are not already signed up, you can learn how at /mycompass-self-enrollment-option/
Q: Can I get updates by calling my healthcare provider?
A: We understand people are eager to learn more about vaccines, but we kindly ask that you do not call your healthcare provider or clinic for information about COVID-19 vaccines at this time before it is available to the general public. This helps reserve our staffed phone lines for patients calling who are experiencing active symptoms or have acute care needs.
Q: How can I stay up to date on when Fort HealthCare will have the vaccine?
A: We will communicate with our patients and community when we have updates about the availability of vaccines. If you are a Fort HealthCare patient, the best thing you can do is make sure you have an active MyCompass account. We will be directly communicating with patients through MyCompass on how and when to get signed up for a vaccine If you are not already signed up, you can learn how at https:www.forthealthcare.com/mycompass-self-enrollment-option/
Q: Where can I learn more about the vaccine and how it will be distributed?
A: If you are interested in reading more about vaccines, two great sources are the CDC and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. To learn more about the vaccine types please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines.html