COVID-19 Vaccines: Resources for Vigor Employees & Their Families
Over the last year, Vigor employees have stepped up to take care of each other and our families by committing to our COVID-19 protocols and working hard to stay safe and healthy. Because of our combined efforts integrating health practices into our daily lives, we have been able to keep people healthy and, importantly, keep people working.
As you know, we are now heading into a different phase of the pandemic, with many people looking for information on when and where they might be able to be vaccinated. We encourage you to get vaccinated whenever you become eligible and have the opportunity. Broad adoption of the vaccine will be necessary to stop the pandemic.
While details are continuously changing, we want to do what we can to help point employees to reliable information on vaccination eligibility and registration information, which varies from state to state. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.
One key detail we want people to be aware of is that vaccinations are currently free to the public due to the strong public interest in moving beyond the pandemic and the critical role the vaccine plays in allowing this to occur.
A reminder that even after people are vaccinated, there will remain a period of time when we still need to maintain our current protocols at Vigor, including mask wearing and social distancing. These protocols will continue to be guided by public health direction. We are all awaiting the day when we can move away from these, but we will continue following them for as long as we need to.
Thank you again for your ongoing commitment to health and safety.
State-specific information about vaccine eligibility and timing:
- Alaska: http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/epi/id/pages/COVID-19/vaccine.aspx;
Update 3/4: Recent updates now allow essential workers, as defined by CISA (Vigor Alaska employees meet the CISA definition), 16 years and above to be vaccinated. Additionally, it appears non-resident workerss, such as Vigor employees at Ft. Greely, may be eligible to receive the vaccine if they otherwise meet the criteria for the current phase. You can take the Alaska eligibility quiz here: https://hipaa.jotform.com/210366892090154
- Oregon: https://www.getvaccinated.oregon.gov/
Update 3/29: All frontline workers (Vigor employees routinely working onsite qualify under this definition) will be eligible for a vaccine no later than April 5. All others 16 and older will be eligible no later than May 1. Vigor employees not required to work routinely onsite and who are not otherwise eligible should look to this timeframe (general public) to be vaccinated.
- Washington State: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/vaccine
Update 3/31: High-risk critical workers, including those in construction and manufacturing (Vigor employees routinely working onsite qualify under this definition) will be eligible by March 31. All others 16 and older will be eligible no later than April 15. Vigor employees not required to work routinely onsite and who are not otherwise eligible should look to this timeframe (general public) to be vaccinated.
- Hawaii: https://hawaiicovid19.com/vaccine/#hi-vaccination-plan
Update 3/29: All Vigor employees have been contacted to schedule vaccination.
For Vigor employees who are Veterans, information about VA vaccine services can be found at the below sites.
- Alaska: https://www.alaska.va.gov/services/covid-19-vaccines.asp
- Portland & Vancouver: https://www.portland.va.gov/features/COVID_Vaccination_Scheduling_For_Veterans.asp
- Washington State: https://www.pugetsound.va.gov/services/covid-19-vaccines.asp
- Hawaii: https://www.hawaii.va.gov/services/covid-19-vaccines.asp
CDC Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html
Myths & Facts about the COVID-19 Vaccine from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
How do I know which sources of COVID-19 vaccine information are accurate?
- It can be difficult to know which sources of information you can trust. Learn more about finding credible vaccine information.
Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?
- No. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.
- There are several different types of vaccines in development. All of them teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work.
- It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity (protection against the virus that causes COVID-19) after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.
After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, will I test positive for COVID-19 on a viral test?
- No. Neither the recently authorized and recommended vaccines nor the other COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States can cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.
- If your body develops an immune response—the goal of vaccination—there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.
If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine?
- Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, vaccine should be offered to you regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection. CDC is providing recommendations to federal, state, and local governments about who should be vaccinated first.
- At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person. Some early evidence suggests natural immunity may not last very long.
- We won’t know how long immunity produced by vaccination lasts until we have more data on how well the vaccines work.
- Both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are trying to learn more about, and CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.
Will a COVID-19 vaccination protect me from getting sick with COVID-19?
- Yes. COVID-19 vaccination works by teaching your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, and this protects you from getting sick with COVID-19.
- Being protected from getting sick is important because even though many people with COVID-19 have only a mild illness, others may get a severe illness, have long-term health effects, or even die. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you, even if you don’t have an increased risk of developing severe complications. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work.
Will a COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?
- No. COVID-19 mRNA vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way.
- Messenger RNA vaccines—also called mRNA vaccines—are the first COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States. mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response. The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept. This means the mRNA cannot affect or interact with our DNA in any way. Instead, COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease. Learn more about how COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work.
- At the end of the process, our bodies have learned how to protect against future infection. That immune response and making antibodies is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.
Is it safe for me to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I would like to have a baby one day?
- Yes. People who want to get pregnant in the future may receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Based on current knowledge, experts believe that COVID-19 vaccines are unlikely to pose a risk to a person trying to become pregnant in the short or long term. Scientists study every vaccine carefully for side effects immediately and for years afterward. The COVID-19 vaccines are being studied carefully now and will continue to be studied for many years, similar to other vaccines.
- The COVID-19 vaccine, like other vaccines, works by training our bodies to develop antibodies to fight against the virus that causes COVID-19, to prevent future illness. There is currently no evidence that antibodies formed from COVID-19 vaccination cause any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. In addition, there is no evidence suggesting that fertility problems are a side effect of ANY vaccine. People who are trying to become pregnant now or who plan to try in the future may receive the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them.
Additional information from the CDC is available here.