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Despite Vaccine, COVID-19 Prevention is Still Necessary

Coronavirus Protection Program Guidelines Updated by OSHA

On January 29, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace which updates guidance and recommendations to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The guidance issued by OSHA informs employers and workers outside of healthcare to help identify risks of being exposed to and/or contracting COVID-19. As many are aware, COVID-19 is highly transmissible and can be spread by people who have no symptoms. 

What Workers Need To Know about COVID-19 Protections in the Workplace

The guidelines both inform workers and advise employers about the resources and policies that should be in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Workers should expect a safe and healthy workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm. The guidelines reiterate the existing procedures workers can follow to keep themselves safe.

  • OSHA continues to advise that the best way to protect yourself is to stay far enough away from other people so that you are not breathing in particles produced by an infected person – generally at least 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths), although this is not a guarantee, especially in enclosed spaces or those with poor ventilation.
  • Practicing good personal hygiene and washing your hands often helps prevent the spread of the disease.
  • Face coverings are simple barriers to help prevent your respiratory droplets or aerosols from reaching others. The main function of wearing a face covering is to protect those around you, in case you are infected but not showing symptoms. Even though COVID-19 vaccinations are in the early stages of rollout, it is important to wear a face covering and remain physically distant from co-workers and customers even if you have been vaccinated because it is not known at this time how vaccination affects transmissibility.
  • Employee protections are in place for workers who bring up coronavirus related concerns.

The Roles of Employers and Workers in Responding to COVID-19

Under the OSH Act, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm.

Implementing a workplace COVID-19 prevention program is the most effective way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 at work, and engaging workers in the development of the program improves adoption. Examples of an effective prevention program include: 

  • Assignment of a workplace coordinator
  • Identification of where and how workers might be exposed to COVID-19 at work
  • Consideration of protections for workers at higher risk for severe illness through supportive policies and practices
  • Minimize the negative impact of quarantine and isolation on workers (provide remote/work-from-home opportunities)
  • Establishment of a system for communicating effectively with workers and in a language they understand

In addition, a greater emphasis on face coverings is included in the updated guidance. Key among new additions is that “Employers should provide face coverings to the workers at no cost,” and “Require any other individuals at the workplace (e.g., visitors, customers, nonemployees) to wear a face covering unless they are under the age of 2 or are actively consuming food or beverages on site,”

OSHA advises that the recommendations are advisory in nature, informational in content, and are intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace. But as 

We’re Here to Help

Although the COVID-19 vaccine is becoming more widely available, any workplace environment is still susceptible to an outbreak. Keep United Alliance Services in mind for the following safety service options:

COVID-19 CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

COVID-19 TRAINING (INFECTION CONTROL WEBINAR) – We offer Open Enrollment Classes and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

COVID19 TESTING – We now offer COVID-19 Testing Services For Colleges, Universities, Private Companies, And Public Agencies

If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.

Male doctor holding syringe making covid 19 vaccination injection dose in shoulder of female patient wearing mask. Flu influenza vaccine clinical trials concept, corona virus treatment, close up view.

What to Expect After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise. According to the CDC, as of Jan 11 2021, there are 22,322,956 total cases, with 373,167 deaths

As the vaccines are being distributed across the country, many states have streamlined vaccine rollout plans to administer doses and get people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Along with practicing and adhering to the recommended safety guidelines, the vaccine is yest another tool to help prevent the spread of the virus. With any new vaccine comes many questions about how safe it will be and what benefits the vaccine provides.

Now that people are beginning to get vaccinated, many questions about side effects and the number of doses needed have surfaced. The CDC provides helpful information regarding what you can expect after getting the vaccine.

COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects

COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.

Common side effects:

  1. Pain and swelling on the arm where you got the shot
  2. Fever
  3. Chills
  4. Tiredness
  5. Headache

If you have pain or discomfort, talk to your doctor about taking an over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. To reduce pain and discomfort where you got the shot, apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area, and use or exercise your arm.

When to call the doctor

In most cases, discomfort from fever or pain is normal. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider:

  1. If the redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours
  2. If your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days

With most COVID-19 vaccines, you will need 2 shots for them to work. Unless your Doctor tells you not to, you should get the second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot. The second shot will provide more protection than just receiving one shot.

It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines that require 2 shots may not protect you until a week or two after your second shot.

It’s important for everyone to continue to practice safety and proper hygiene. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, stay at least 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often.​

According John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health, it is still possible to contract COVID-19 between doses. This is why it is important to continue to wear a mask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands.

They also note; the first dose will not provide complete protection, and it will take about seven days after your second dose before you will achieve a full protective level of immunity that develops in about 95% of vaccine recipients. If you are exposed to SARS-CoV-2 before this time, it is possible that you could develop COVID-19. The side effects of the vaccine typically start within 12 to 24 hours of vaccination. If you experience side effects that last beyond 48 hours, you should contact your doctor or medical provider for advice.

We’re Here to Help

In these challenging times, the risk of exposure is more prevalent than ever. We offer the following safety service options:

COVID-19 CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

COVID-19 TRAINING (INFECTION CONTROL WEBINAR) – We offer Open Enrollment Classes and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

COVID19 TESTING – We now offer COVID-19 Testing Services For Colleges, Universities, Private Companies, And Public Agencies

If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.

 

Coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine vial and injection syringe in scientist hands concept. Research for new novel corona virus immunization drug.

What to Expect at Your COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment

COVID cases continue to surge throughout the US. With the holiday season now behind us, and many people choosing to travel, the numbers are expected to climb even higher.

To stop this pandemic, along with mask wearing, social distancing, and practicing proper hygiene, getting vaccinated is a critical component in the fight to protect your health and prevent you from getting the disease.

Vaccines are a proven, safe method, that works with your body’s natural defenses to prepare it to fight the virus, if you are exposed. Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at keeping you from getting COVID-19. Experts also believe getting a COVID-19 vaccine may help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get infected. It is important to know the benefits of getting the vaccine, and like other vaccines, taking the COVID vaccines cannot give you the disease itself.

The CDC provides an overview of things to keep in mind while awaiting your vaccine appointment:

  • The Vaccines are Safe

The U.S. vaccine safety system, which includes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ensures the safety, effectiveness, and availability of vaccine. All the COVID-19 vaccines that are being used have gone through the same safety tests and meet the same standards as any other vaccines produced through the years.

  • There will be different types of COVID-19 vaccines available.

There are now a few vaccine options, depending on where you live could be the basis of which vaccine you get. The vaccines will most likely be given in two separate shots, at least three weeks after the initial shot.

Preparing for Your Vaccine Appointment

Because COVID-19 is a new disease with new vaccines, there are many questions about what happens before, during, and after your appointment to get vaccinated. The following tips from the CDC will help you know what to expect:

  1. Before Getting the Vaccine

Before making an appointment, check to see if you’re eligible to get the vaccine. Many states are following similar vaccination protocols and you may not be eligible for a few more months.

When you do get the vaccine, you must cover your mouth and nose with a mask, be sure not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.  Stay at least 6 feet away from others while inside and waiting in lines.

  1. When You Get Vaccinated

You should receive a vaccination card or printout that tells you what COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it, and where you received it.

You should receive a paper or electronic version of a fact sheet that tells you more about the specific COVID-19 vaccine you are being offered. Each authorized COVID-19 vaccine has its own fact sheet that contains information to help you understand the risks and benefits of receiving that specific vaccine.

All people who get a COVID-19 vaccine should be monitored on-site for any rare severe allergic reactions. ​

  1. After Vaccination

With most COVID-19 vaccines, you will need two shots for it to work properly. You may have some mild side-effects, from sore muscles, feeling tired, or mild fever. Don’t panic, these reactions mean the vaccine is working to help teach your body how to fight COVID-19 if you are exposed. For most people, these side effects will last no longer than a day or two. If these persist, then you should seek medical attention.

Keeping Safe

Even after you get your vaccine, you will need to keep wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth, washing your hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from other people you do not live with. This gives you and others the best protection from catching the virus.

Experts are still researching how long the vaccine will provide protection, so it’s important to continue following the guidelines from CDC and your health department. Also, since the vaccination process will be staggered, not everyone will get vaccinated right away, following the standard safety protocols will provide more protection for yourself and others.

We’re Here to Help

In these challenging times, the risk of exposure is more prevalent than ever. We offer the following safety service options:

COVID-19 CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

COVID-19 TRAINING (INFECTION CONTROL WEBINAR) – We offer Open Enrollment Classes and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

COVID19 TESTING – We now offer COVID-19 Testing Services For Colleges, Universities, Private Companies, And Public Agencies

If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.

 

COVID-19 vaccine concept, female doctor holds coronavirus medication in office or laboratory. Bottle with vaccine for corona virus treatment closeup. Clinical trial due to coronavirus pandemic.

When Can I Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

The US is seeing its highest death toll, more than 344,000 people have now died of the COVID-19 virus.

With many states reporting their hospitals are being overrun with the virus, some have tightened their reopening plans to help stop the spread.

In Massachusetts, these restrictions include reducing capacity limits to 25% statewide for most industries, and 10 persons for indoor gatherings, 25 persons for outdoor gatherings to both private homes and event venues and public spaces.. Additional safety measures will be applied to restaurant dining as well.

Rhode Island will be hitting pause for three weeks, ending December 20th. The pause is intended to reduce community transmission of COVID-19 by dialing down overall mobility and reducing social gatherings. These reductions are key to stemming Rhode Island’s recent increase in cases and hospitalizations over the winter months.

Even as the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has gained Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approval and shipments are being received by hospitals, the virus is still as deadly as ever. While the general population await their time to be able to take the vaccine, the flu season upon us, and with Christmas fast approaching, there is concern among health professionals that people will let down their guard.

Though there is now light at the end of the tunnel, the tunnel is still very long.

COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Plan

Every state will have their own plan for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, it’s most likely that many will follow a similar path for continuity.

For instance, in Massachusetts, according to the Baker-Polito Administration and the Department of Public Health, they have developed a vaccine distribution timeline which provides 3 Phases.

 

Phase 1 timeline is December 2020 – February 2021, and will include:

  1. Clinical and non-clinical health care workers doing direct and COVID-facing care
  2. Long term care facilities, rest homes and assisted living facilities
  3. Police, fire and emergency medical services
  4. Congregate care settings (including corrections and shelters)
  5. Home-based health care workers
  6. Health care workers doing non-COVID-facing care

Phase 2 timeline is February-March 2021, and will include:

  1. Individuals with 2+ co-morbid conditions (high risk for COVID-19 complications)
  2. Early education, K-12, transit, grocery, utility, food and agriculture, sanitation, public works and public health workers
  3. Adults 65+
  4. Individuals with one co-morbid condition

Phase 3 timeline starts in April 2021 and is expected to be available to the general public.

CDC Safety Guidelines are Still Important

Though the COVID-19 vaccine is now being distributed and administered, the risk for infection is still high. Now is not the time to stop adhering to safety protocols. These are in place to help keep you and everyone around you safe.

While we wait, be sure to:

  1. Wear a mask
  2. Wash your hands often
  3. Maintain social distance of at least 6 feet
  4. Cover your coughs and sneezes
  5. Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily
  6. Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
  7. If you feel sick – stay home

We’re Here to Help

In these challenging times, the risk of exposure is more prevalent than ever. We offer the following safety service options:

COVID-19 CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

COVID-19 TRAINING (INFECTION CONTROL WEBINAR) – We offer Open Enrollment Classes and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

COVID19 TESTING – We now offer COVID-19 Testing Services For Colleges, Universities, Private Companies, And Public Agencies

If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.

 

Healthcare cure concept with a hand in blue medical gloves holding Coronavirus, Covid 19 virus, vaccine vial

Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the country, and the news of promising vaccines being reviewed for approval, many people are wondering when these new vaccines will be available.

The Wall Street Journal reported that on Tuesday, December 8, 2020, the U.K. became the first Western country to start inoculating its population with a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and Germany’s BioNTech SE. The UK and the US approve vaccines in different ways. The UK relies on data provided by the drug maker, while the US relies on the Federal Drug Administration to review raw data before deeming it safe.

The FDA is planning to review the vaccine on December 10th and hopefully approve it soon after.

With any new vaccine, comes many new questions and concerns. Is it safe? Who will get it first? Will there be enough for everyone? I feel fine, do I need to take it?

The 3 Main Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

Based on what the CDC knows, here is a summary of the 3 main benefits of getting the COVID-19 vaccination:

  1. COVID-19 vaccination will help keep you from getting COVID-19
    All the COVID-19 vaccines are being carefully evaluated in clinical trials and will be authorized or approved only if they make it substantially less likely you’ll get COVID-19. Like the flu vaccine, the goal of the COVID-19 vaccine is to help people keep from getting seriously ill if they contract the virus. Also, getting vaccinated may help to protect people around you, and help contribute to stopping or controlling the virus spreading.
  2. COVID-19 vaccination will be a safer way to help build protection
    For some people, the virus can have serious, life-threatening complications. The concern is that there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you, and if you get sick, you could spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you, who may have underlying health issues that could make them a higher risk of complications.Herd immunity has been suggested as a way for people to have their body create a response to the virus naturally. According to the World Health Organization, herd immunity is a concept used for vaccination, in which a population can be protected from a certain virus if a threshold of vaccination is reached. This would remove the need for all people to become vaccinated. The main concern with herd immunity is the potential of more lives being lost while a population tries to reach the needed immunity level for it to be safe for all.
  3. COVID-19 vaccination will be an important tool to help stop the pandemic
    Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. The combination of getting vaccinated and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.

Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines

The COVID-10 pandemic has caused many concerns regarding our health and wellbeing. As vaccines are being developed and under review for widespread use, there are also concerns with how the vaccine will affect us physically.

According to the CDC, here are some facts to consider and to help dispel the concern about getting vaccinated.

 

  • FACT: COVID-19 vaccines will not give you COVID-19
    None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19.
  • FACT: COVID-19 vaccines will not cause you to test positive on COVID-19 viral tests

Vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States won’t cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.

  • FACT: People who have gotten sick with COVID-19 may still benefit from getting vaccinated

Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, people may be advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have been sick with COVID-19 before.

  • FACT: Getting vaccinated can help prevent getting sick with COVID-19
    COVID-19 vaccination helps protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness.
  • FACT: Receiving an mRNA vaccine will not alter your DNA

mRNA stands for messenger ribonucleic acid and can most easily be described as instructions for how to make a protein or even just a piece of a protein. mRNA is not able to alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA).

We’re Here to Help

In these challenging times, the risk of exposure is more prevalent than ever. We offer the following safety service options:

COVID-19 CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

COVID-19 TRAINING (INFECTION CONTROL WEBINAR) – We offer Open Enrollment Classes and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

COVID19 TESTING – We now offer COVID-19 Testing Services For Colleges, Universities, Private Companies, And Public Agencies

If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.

vial, covid-19, coronavirus vaccine ampoule, bottle for injection with syringe

COVID Vaccine – 8 Things to Know about Vaccine Planning

With Thanksgiving now over and Christmas fast approaching, many health officials are sounding the alarm. In Rhode Island, officials prepared to use field hospitals after telling residents their systems were already at capacity.

Many people traveled for the Thanksgiving holiday, hospitals, already reporting high numbers of cases, are expecting to see a continued surge in COVID-19 cases. As of December 2, 2020, the United States has confirmed more than 13.6 million cases since the pandemic began, with over 270,000 recorded deaths.

With this surge, many states are considering or have implemented new restrictions and have issued updated stay-at-home advisories.

While the next few months will be difficult for many, there is hope and light at the end of this tunnel.

Many pharmaceutical companies have released positive results for a COVID vaccine, and some are now in the hands of the FDA awaiting approval for public use. The federal government, through Operation Warp Speed, has been working with these companies to make vaccines available, quickly, and safely.

COVID-19 Vaccines – What you need to know

Since the vaccines have been developed and almost ready for distribution and use, many people fear the vaccine was rushed and may not be safe. The CDC recently released information to keep people informed about the vaccine, and the planning protocols.

With the possibility of one or more COVID-19 vaccines becoming available before the end of the year, here are 8 things you need to know about where those plans currently stand.

The information below is directly from the CDC website:

  1. The safety of COVID-19 vaccines is a top priority.
    The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Learn how federal partners are working together to ensure the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.
  2. Many vaccines are being developed and tested, but some might be ready before others.
    CDC is working with partners at all levels, including healthcare associations, on flexible COVID-19 vaccination programs that can accommodate different vaccines and scenarios. CDC has been in contact with your state public health department to help with your state’s planning. State, tribal, local, and territorial health departments are critical to making sure vaccines are available to communities.
  3. At least at first, COVID-19 vaccines might be used under an Emergency Use Authorization.
    Learn more about Emergency Use Authorization and watch a video on what an EUA is.
  4. There may be a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines before the end of 2020, but supply will continually increase in the weeks and months that follow.
    The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as large quantities are available. The plan is to have several thousand vaccination providers available, including doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and federally qualified health centers.
  5. If there is limited supply, some groups may be recommended to get a COVID-19 vaccine first.

Experts are working on how to distribute these limited vaccines in a fair, ethical, and transparent way.

  1. At first, COVID-19 vaccines may not be recommended for children.

In early clinical trials for various COVID-19 vaccines, only non-pregnant adults participated. However, clinical trials continue to expand those recruited to participate. The groups recommended to receive the vaccines could change in the future.

  1. Cost will not be an obstacle to getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost. However, vaccine providers will be able to charge administration fees for giving or administering the shot to someone.

  1. COVID-19 vaccine planning is being updated as new information becomes available.

CDC will continue to update this website as plans develop.

We’re Here to Help

In these challenging times, the risk of exposure is more prevalent than ever. We offer the following safety service options:

COVID-19 CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

COVID-19 TRAINING (INFECTION CONTROL WEBINAR) – We offer Open Enrollment Classes and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

COVID19 TESTING – We now offer COVID-19 Testing Services For Colleges, Universities, Private Companies, And Public Agencies

If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.