On Wednesday January 27 with the help of the Cobb-Douglas and Forsyth County Health Department, 26 Skylark Members, Associates, and Caregivers received either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. It was quite the sight to see everyone receive their vaccines. Our first associates began receiving the vaccine in mid-December.
The other piece of good news is that the vaccines are being administered relatively quickly. The news media has reported frustration at the speed at which the vaccine has been rolled out. The rate has been increasing. According to the Bloomberg Covid Vaccine Tracker as of January 27, there have been approximately 26.5 million cumulative doses administered at a daily rate of 1.2 million. According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, there have been approximately 800,000 cumulative doses administered in Georgia.
Georgia continues administering to those in the 1A+ group which includes health care workers, first responders, those over 65 and their caregivers. We’ll continue to work with our local health departments and emergency management agencies to schedule vaccinations at our centers.
In the meantime, we urge everyone who is currently eligible to get the vaccine. The side effects really are minimal for the vast majority of individuals. The vaccine has been administered to millions and millions, and the CDC and the pharmaceutical companies are doing a good job tracking the vaccinations.
While the administration of the vaccine has been slower than we would like, vaccination rates are increasing. You can see the progress Georgia is making at COVID Vaccine | Georgia Department of Public Health. It can be hard to get an appointment, but keep working on it. It’s going to be vitally important to our seniors.
Georgia is working on improving the vaccination rates. The vaccination operations are significantly better now than they were in December. With additional resources, more time, increased vaccine production capacity, and hopefully additional vaccine options, we’re hopeful that the daily rate of vaccination will increase dramatically even from where we are.
If you have the opportunity to get the vaccine, get it as soon as possible. Based on feedback from some families who have gotten their first vaccine already, scheduling opens up early Saturday morning for the following week (this tip is likely to change as the vaccination process is quickly improving).
You should be able to find additional vaccine information as well as scheduling tools on the local public health web sites. For those working or residing in:
- Cobb or Douglas Counties, please Cobb-Douglas Public Health Department. This page allows you to sign-up for email notices about the COVID-19 Vaccine.
- Forsyth and Hall Counties, please refer to Georgia Public Health District Two. The page includes a link to sign-up for a vaccination appointment.
- Fulton County, please refer to the Fulton County Board of Health COVID-19 Vaccine Page. The page includes a link to sign-up for a vaccination appointment.
- Gwinnett County, please refer to the Gwinnett, Newton, and Rockdale Health Department. This page includes a link to sign-up for a vaccination appointment.
- State of Georgia: You can find additional information about vaccinations sites and partners at the Georgia Department of Public Health Web Site.
According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, the Kroger Health sites and the Ingles, Publix, and U Save It pharmacies are also able to provide vaccinations.
In most of these cases, appointments are available as the vaccine becomes available. Pfizer and Moderna continue to ship vaccine, so you may need to keep checking the sites for appointment availability.
Since the Departments of Public Health have been willing to work with us with the vaccination process, we are hopeful that we’ll be able to get all our Members and Associates fully vaccinated by the end of March.
- I’m working with Fran on enrolling in the Center and Home Care. Can my loved one receive the vaccine through Skylark?
- I’ve been on hold since the pandemic closed the center in March 2020. Can my loved one receive the vaccine through Skylark?
In conjunction with the department of public health, we were able to vaccinate active Members, those on hold, their caregivers, and our employees at our COVID vaccination drive. This took place at our Cobb center. We would like to do another drive there, but will need more affiliated participants. Hopefully, we can do something similar at our Johns Creek location under similar requirements. Please keep in touch with Fran (firstname.lastname@example.org), Carolanne (email@example.com), or Joseph (firstname.lastname@example.org) for additional information. All active, prospective, and on hold members over the age of 65 and their caregivers are absolutely eligible for the vaccine through the regular channels.
Definitely let us know if you’re interested (and perhaps ready to start or restart back at the center). We’ll keep working and advocating for the vaccinations with the correct departments. Generally, the departments are looking for opportunities to provide vaccinations, and they don’t provide much notice when the opportunity arises.
What does this mean for our family?
Now that all older adults over the age of 65 and their caregivers are authorized to receive the vaccine, it’s likely that Members who desire to return to the center and still qualify will be able to do so in the next few months.
We’ll help identify vaccination opportunities to make this happen. We’ll also start reaching out to begin reassessments and understanding family plans.
What should you expect from Skylark?
We continue to be your premier Home Care and Adult Day provider and your safety and health are our top priority. Since reopening in September, we’ve started many new members and welcomed back existing members to the centers. The Seniors are very happy to return, and we’re seeing great results. In some cases, we’ve seen the physical and cognitive decline of the pandemic reversed with increased social engagement, exercise, and nursing care. Our Johns Creek center is now fully open, and the Cobb center is open additional days.
We expect great changes coming quickly in the coming months. We’ll work hard to continue earning your confidence in us.
We’re going to add one more step to our safety and infection control protocols:
- Vaccinations: work with Members and Associates to get everyone vaccinated quickly.
- Keep the coronavirus out: For home care and adult day center, we work to avoid the virus by checking temperatures, utilizing screening questions, using appropriate PPE, and limiting visitors.
- Masks and Social Distancing: Whether in the home or in the center, we’ll continue using masks and implementing social distancing. Our members and associates have been doing a great job keeping the masks.
- Synexis Bio-Defense System: This system helps to automate our cleaning program and attacks surfaces and air. We think this will form a key part of our infection control program even after the coronavirus pandemic.
We’re looking forward to seeing you back in the center. 2021 is going to be a great year.