Current COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Posted on: December 23, 2020

We are preparing for the COVID-19 vaccination and details are rapidly developing. Please see attachments for more information about the vaccine. Our Crest Services locations are registered for the vaccine, which includes our members and staff.

What we know from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) announced their recommendations for the initial phase of the COVID-19 vaccination program (1a):

Phase Ia
-Healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities (LTCF).

Phase 2  (Per state of Iowa Public Department of Health website, COVID-19 Vaccine will likely be able to meet the demand during this phase and includes the following) :

– Appointment clinics,
– Direct collaboration with pharmacies
– Community clinics
– Homeless shelters,
– Non-profit agencies,
– Free clinics,
– Assisted living facilities,
– Nursing homes,
– Residential care facilities,
– Group homes
– Community centers
– Schools
– Corrections (jails, prisons or other transitional correctional facilities)
– Drive through settings as used annually for influenza vaccine
– Home visits
– Mass clinics
– Private/Closed clinics by employers

Walgreens will be our provider of the COVID-19 Vaccine for our Des Moines and Cedar Rapid locations. We are waiting further updates for the remaining sites.

Crest Services is preparing for these clinics by doing the following:

➢ Working with our pharmacy to implement the vaccine clinic when ready
➢ Educating on the vaccine



COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):

Is the vaccine safe?

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC)] review vaccine safety data. For COVID-19, ACIP has formed a separate Vaccine Safety Technical (VaST) to provide timely evaluation of vaccine safety, both pre- and post-licensure.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is adding further monitoring programs to health care workers to analyze results six weeks after vaccination.  Long-term Care is required to report all vaccinations through the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).

Most adverse side effects occur within six weeks of vaccine administration, and the FDA has required eight weeks of safety monitoring so it can track any side effects.  FDA advises a minimum of 3,000 participants to assess safety. The current phase 3 trials have 30,000 to 50,000 participants. This really demonstrates how safety is a top priority for the FDA and the medical community.

Is ABHM requiring employees and their residents to take the vaccine?

Staff and residents are not required to take the vaccine.

Will personal protective equipment (PPE) guidelines be relaxed if the staff, residents and members are vaccinated?

Until ABHM knows the effectiveness of the vaccine, PPE guidelines will not be relaxed.

Is the vaccine one dose or a series?

The two initial vaccines projected for release are two-dose series vaccines and are not interchangeable. It’s important you schedule your second dose while getting your first dose because your booster must be from the same manufacturer.

Why can’t I have the vaccine now when others are receiving it?

At this time, there is not enough vaccine for everyone requesting it. Our state health departments are working with Walgreens or CVS to distribute the vaccine to those most at risk, including those living in long-term care facilities.

The best way to prevent COVID-19 is by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and washing your hands frequently.

If I already contracted COVID-19, do I need a vaccination?

ABHM is recommending all residents and employees get the COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of whether they have recovered from a previous COVID-19 infection. According to the CDC, there is not enough information currently available to say if or for how long after infection someone is protected from getting COVID-19 again. This is called natural immunity. Early evidence suggests natural immunity from COVID-19 may not last very long, but more studies are needed for a better understanding. 

Does insurance cover the vaccine?

Private health insurance companies, as well as government insurance programs like Medicare, will cover the vaccination cost.  You will need to have your insurance information when getting your vaccine.




COVID-19 Vaccine:  Is It for You?

Travis LaCore, PharmD, BCGP, NREMT, FF2 – ABHM Subject Matter Expert of Pharmacy

A COVID-19 vaccine has the potential to bring the pandemic to an end at a greater speed than any other intervention available.  Vaccination will provide protection to an individual and reduce the chances of spreading as more people get the vaccine.

Despite the potential benefit of the COVID-19 vaccine to drastically reducing the spread of infection, there remains a high level of apprehension among the public regarding the safety of the vaccine.  Although the development of a COVID-19 vaccine has been rapid, the research and development on a coronavirus vaccine is not new, nor are the methods used to produce the vaccine.  The vaccine approval process also remains fundamentally unchanged and must include strong evidence of vaccine safety and effectiveness. Research and development of coronavirus vaccines date as far back to 2002 and 2012, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak of 2002, and MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak of 2012. Researchers directed the development of the COVID-19 vaccine utilizing the prior research on these outbreaks.  One type of vaccine being developed, the mRNA vaccine, is a type of vaccine that has not been used in the US vaccine market previously, however it has been researched for decades in other areas such as cancer treatments.

The Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is a 2-dose series, with an estimated effectiveness rate of 95% at 28 days after the initial dose.   The most common adverse reactions reported were injection site reaction, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, and fever, which are common reactions with any vaccine.

The next COVID-19 vaccine to be considered for an FDA EUA is the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, which is scheduled to be reviewed by the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) on December 17, 2020.

For questions and concerns about the vaccines, please contact your health care provider.




ABHM has set up a designated email address to best respond to any questions, comments, or concerns specifically related to the COVID-19 vaccine: